Leigh Ann Davis

Leigh Ann Davis, M.S.S.W., M.P.A.
Director, Criminal Justice Initiatives

With almost 20 years of experience in the I/DD (intellectual and/or developmental disability) and criminal justice field, Ms. Davis has worked with both disability and criminal justice professionals and agencies, as well as self-advocates, to build stronger lines of open communication and understanding between these two worlds. She has authored numerous publications, including curricula, scholarly articles, fact sheets and brochures on a broad array of topics (including victims, offenders/suspects, death penalty, victims with FASD) and presented at state, national and international conferences to enlighten others about the unique issues faced by people with I/DD in the criminal justice system. Ms. Davis serves as The Arc’s subject matter expert related to criminal justice issues and as consultant for other agencies, such as The Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) Training and Technical Assistance Center and Vera Institute of Justice. As a childhood survivor of sexual abuse, she intuitively understands the challenges victims face and their need for timely and effective support, and brings this passion to the goal of ensuring people with I/DD have access to accommodations in the criminal justice system, whether suspect, offender or victim.


Ashley Brompton, J.D., Criminal Justice Fellow

Ms. Brompton completed her J.D. at Wake Forest University School of Law and her B.A. degree at Florida Gulf Coast University. She is passionate about the rights of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and is pursuing a career advocating on their behalf. Her personal experience as a sibling of someone with a disability fuels her goal of working in the area of criminal justice/disability advocacy as an attorney. She interned at the Mental Health Division of the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia as well as public defender’s offices in North Carolina. Her passion is post-conviction public policy, with an emphasis on issues of mental illness and intellectual and developmental disabilities and their impact on criminal convictions. In law school, she worked with the Innocence and Justice Clinic as well as the Criminal Justice Program.

 Ariel Simms

Ariel Simms, J.D., Criminal Justice Fellow

Ariel Simms completed her Juris Doctor degree at Harvard Law School and has Bachelor of Arts degrees in Psychology and French from Saginaw Valley State University. Prior to law school, Ariel spent two years working as a Mental Health Counselor on an inpatient psychiatric unit of a hospital. After that experience, Ariel decided to become a disability and human rights advocate, especially on behalf of those living with mental disabilities. Throughout her time at law school, Ariel worked on disability rights issues both in the United States and abroad, including health care policy, human rights, and criminal justice. Ariel also worked to promote mental health and well-being in the Harvard community as co-President of the Student Mental Health Association. Ariel has a passion for social justice reform, especially in the realms of legal capacity, supported decision-making, mass incarceration, conditions of confinement, and policing. Ariel hopes to see the United States ratify the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities during her career. In her spare time, Ariel enjoys teaching indoor cycling.


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