Webinar Archive

An archive of NCCJD's free webinars will be archived here. See below to view completed (recorded) webinars, or check out our upcoming (live) webinars.

Mental Health Courts and Individuals with I/DD: A Criminal Justice Solution?

July 28th, 1:30-3:00 p.m. EDT

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→ View the Transcript.

Jennifer Baird, Program Manager, Mental Health Court, St. Lucie County, Florida
Meghan Patton, Court Coordinator, Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Court, Cuyahoga County, Ohio
Adam Stone, Criminal Defense Attorney
Mental health courts were created to divert offenders away from prison into long-term community based treatment. These courts rely on assessments, treatment plans and ongoing monitoring of behavior to address both the mental health needs of the offenders, as well as the safety needs of the community. But, are mental health courts appropriate for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD)? Can they do more harm than good? Join NCCJD as we explore these questions and hear from experts in the field about this under-recognized dilemma in the criminal justice system. NCCJD will discuss the results of a recent informal survey of mental health courts serving people with I/DD, followed by Ms. Baird who will provide a historical perspective of mental health courts, and define their role and purpose in the criminal justice system. Ms. Patton will discuss how the Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Court specifically addresses the needs of individuals with I/DD and the benefits of serving these individuals. Mr. Stone will address the concerns of mental health courts and whether they are adequate to serve those with I/DD. View the session slides (PDF).

The Attorney Client Relationship: Bridging the Gap between Attorneys, Clients with I/DD, and Their Families 


May 26th, 1:30-3:30 p.m. EST

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Steve Gordo, Parent Advocate 

Elizabeth Kelley, Criminal Defense Attorney and Member of the Board of Directors, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers 

Ashley Brompton, Criminal Justice Fellow, NCCJD 

Join NCCJD as we help attorneys, clients and their families understand each other’s needs and obligations during a criminal case, and how they can work together to create a fair and complete attorney/client relationship to ensure the best representation possible for people with I/DD. This webinar will be helpful to attorneys and families alike, as well as other advocates. Mr. Gordo will speak about his son, Paul, who has autism and was charged with assault after experiencing sensory overload at a library. Hear how the Gordo family was able to work with their defense attorney to achieve a modest success and get the charges reduced from a major felony to a misdemeanor that resulted in unrestricted probation. Ms. Kelley will discuss the ethics of representing someone with I/DD in the criminal justice system as well as ways in which families can help attorneys achieve good outcomes. NCCJD’s Criminal Justice Fellow will discuss how the two worlds – clients/families and attorneys – can be brought together and how all parties involved can help each other reach their goals. View the session slidesView the transcript.


People with Disabilities in the Criminal Justice System: Promising Legislation for Statewide Reforms.

February 25th, 1:30-3:30 p.m. EST
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Join NCCJD as we delve into the stories that created statewide movements to pass legislation impacting people with disabilities in the criminal justice system as either suspects or victims of crime. Over the past two years, NCCJD has been compiling a database of such legislation in order to help criminal justice and disability professionals understand this issue from a national viewpoint and get an idea of what type of legislation is being passed and why. Find out how groups in Colorado and Maryland were able to pass such legislation and get tips on how to replicate their success in your community. Also, find out more about our new Criminal Justice and Disability Legislative Database! View the session slidesView the transcript.

Sex Offenders with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

October 29th, 1:30-2:30 p.m. EST
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The Arc’s National Center on Criminal Justice and Disability® (NCCJD) recently published a white paper and hosted a webinar on sex offenders with I/DD, and noted an overwhelming need for this information nationwide. In response to the high demand for information, NCCJD brings you an addendum and accompanying webinar, specifically identifying the problems occurring as a result of autism spectrum disorder and lack of sexual education. View the session slides. View the transcript.

White Paper Series: Justice Involved Youth with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities: A Call to Action for the Juvenile Justice Community

September 30th, 2015
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The Arc is a national non-profit that provides cradle to grave services for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD). The Arc’s National Center on Criminal Justice and Disability® (NCCJD) notes the decline in juvenile crime and incarceration and accompanying rise in incarceration rates for youth with I/DD. NCCJD’s white paper and webinar on justice involved youth with I/DD highlights emerging issues and promising practices from across the country including:

Preventing involvement in the first place—strategies for parents and advocates

  • Exclusionary discipline in schools
  • The school-to-prison pipeline
  • Restraint and seclusion in schools
  • Special education in juvenile hall
  • The Arc of the Capital Area’s Juvenile Justice Services Program

The webinar will feature brief presentations from multiple white paper authors, and webinar participants will be the first to access NCCJD’s white paper on the topic of Justice Involved Youth with I/DD. Join us for this thought-provoking webinar and gain new insight on how to assist youth with I/DD who are at-risk for or already involved in the juvenile justice system. View the session slides.

Sex Offenders with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities: Problems and Solutions from Around the Nation

Thursday, July 30, 2015
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Through NCCJD’s national information and referral process, we continue to see cases of sex offenses by people with I/DD that are well outside the stereotypical instances portrayed by the media. NCCJD’s white paper and webinar on the topic will highlight current issues in the field, as well as promising practices from across the country including:

  • Writing a community safety plan
  • Research from Ohio focusing on the characteristics and offense patterns of 160 individuals with DD
  • Ohio’s response to addressing the service needs of individuals with I/DD who have been convicted of committing a sexual offense
  • Specialized employment services for people with disabilities and sex offending behavior
  • Evaluations and risk assessments of people with I/DD
  • An overview of the negative impact of Megan’s law consequences on the I/DD population
  • Right to representation and how to provide effective representation to this population

Webinar participants will be the first to obtain NCCJD’s white paper on the topic of sex offenders with I/DD which delves even deeper into the issues addressed on the webinar. Join us for this thought-provoking and empowering webinar. View the session slides. View the transcript. 

Violence in the Lives of People with Disabilities: Emerging Issues and Solutions for 2015 and Beyond

Thursday, April 30, 2015
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In 2014, the National Crime Victim Survey revealed that people with disabilities face a much greater risk of being victimized compared to those without disabilities (the rate of violent victimization for people with disabilities is nearly three times the rate compared to those without). This webinar addresses emerging issues in the field with a panel of experts and advocates covering topics like:

  • Using trauma-informed care principles when working with victims with intellectual/developmental disabilities (I/DD)
  • Assisting crime victims with complex communication needs
  • Supporting victims with specific types of disabilities such as Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) and Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASDs)
  • Responding to bullying of students with disabilities
  • Supporting people with disabilities in speaking out against violence

Webinar participants will be the first to obtain NCCJD’s white paper on the topic of violence, abuse, and bullying which delves even deeper into the issues addressed on the webinar. Join us for this thought-provoking and empowering webinar, and find out how you can reduce violence in the lives of people with disabilities. View the session slides. View the transcript.

Wrapping Up Year 1: NCCJD's activities, the Pathways to Justice(TM) Model, and Q&A with NCCJD Staff

Thursday, January 29, 2015
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Leigh Ann Davis, Program Manager, Justice Initiatives
Kathryn Walker, Criminal Justice Fellow

Join NCCJD staff on January 29th for a recap of where we’ve been, an introduction to the Pathways to Justice Model, and a chance for Q&A with NCCJD staff. The webinar will begin with Program Manager Leigh Ann Davis providing a brief re-cap of what NCCJD has accomplished in its first year of operation. Then Criminal Justice Fellow Kathryn Walker will use a case example to walk participants through the Pathways to Justice Model—developed by NCCJD as a collaboration and problem identification tool for communities.

The second half of the webinar will be an extended Q&A session with NCCJD staff, who will answer questions about any of our previous webinars, NCCJD’s activities, or any other pressing questions about the intersection of criminal justice and disability. View the session slides. View the transcript.

Suspects/Offenders’ Issues Series: Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) Programs: Lessons Learned on Working with Police

Thursday, November 20, 2014
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For more than 25 years, crisis intervention teams (CIT) have helped local communities come together to improve interactions between police and people living with mental illness. The goal of these programs is safer encounters between police and individuals in crisis, give police tools to respond to crisis situations and link people to mental health services. CIT programs also ensure better coordination between law enforcement agencies, mental health providers and other service providers, and individuals and families.

While CIT may not be a perfect fit to meet the needs of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, it does provide lessons for the I/DD community on how to partner with law enforcement. Ms. Usher will share lessons on how to partner with police and build a sustainable change in local communities to address the needs of people with disabilities. View the session slides. View the transcript.

Day and Employment Opportunities for Individuals with I/DD and Forensic/Sexual Offending Behaviors

Thursday, October 30, 2014
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For the last 25 years the SES program at CLASS has supported individuals in a community-based, therapeutic work setting. Currently the program supports 58 individuals, both male and female, contracted through the Massachusetts Department of Developmental Disabilities, Department of Mental Health, and Rehabilitation Commission. Individuals who are forensically involved, SORB (Sex Offender Registry Board) identified, and/or exhibit dangerous behaviors present unique challenges regarding day and employment services. CLASS is a proud chapter of the Arc, The Arc of Greater Lawrence.

CLASS’s SES program employs a person-centered, data-based treatment model to provide effective vocational training and employment opportunities for adults with developmental, cognitive, mental health, and/or SORB-related, high-risk issues. The SES program structure relies on a staffing ratio of 1 to 4 and emphasizes the therapeutic value of employment for individuals with complex life experiences, psychiatric diagnoses and behavioral challenges. The SES treatment approach incorporates a multi-tiered model of universal expectations for all individuals in the program, which includes targeted group contingencies for identified issues and individualized treatment interventions designed to address significantly challenging issues. This webinar will provide an SES program overview and the obstacles and opportunities in providing this treatment modality will be discussed. View the session slides. View the transcript.

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) -- A Hidden Disability

Thursday, September 25, 2014
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Criminal suspects and offenders often have Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASDs), a disability which is frequently undiagnosed and yet is often the key to understanding the individual and dealing with him or her. The American Bar Association and American Academy of Pediatrics, among others, have recently passed resolutions indicating the seriousness of this condition and the importance of recognition and treatment. Research indicates that 60% of individuals with this disorder will be arrested at some point in their lives and 50% will be incarcerated or placed in a locked mental health facility. A Canadian study of youth in juvenile facilities found 40 times the expected rate of individuals with FASD. This session will explore the reasons for these numbers as well as some strategies for appropriate intervention both before and after arrest. Dawnmarie Bisgard will describe some of the reasons for the response of individuals living with FASDs to law enforcement officers from the perspective of the affected individual. Ms. Bisgard will discuss strategies which were able to change an expected recidivism rate of 50% to 15% for youth with FASDs who were on Probation in the 17th Judicial District of Colorado during a study funded by the FASD Center for Excellence. View the session slides. View the transcript.

Alternatives to Incarceration for Criminal Offenders with Developmental and Intellectual Disabilities

Thursday, August 28, 2014
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Criminal Offenders with developmental and intellectual disabilities (I/DD) present unique challenges to the criminal justice system seeking to investigate and prosecute crime as well as to the social service system seeking to serve and assist this vulnerable population. Such individuals make up at least 9 – 10% of the prison population and some studies tell us that they may comprise as much as 50% of adult and juvenile offender populations. It is unquestioned that individuals with I/DD face distinct disadvantages in the system, resulting in convictions for more serious offenses and more prison time. The Criminal Justice Advocacy Program (CJAP) of The Arc of NJ seeks to overcome these disadvantages, while still ensuring that offenders take responsibility for criminal behavior, by arranging specific interventions that provide alternatives to incarceration through offender-specific Personalized Justice Plans. The CJAP also acts as a clearinghouse of information between the criminal justice and social service system in provide training and communication between the two systems. This webinar will review the obstacles and disadvantages faced by this population and provide an overview of the CJAP. View the session slides. View the transcript.

For more information on PJPs, contact Jessica Oppenheim and The Arc of New Jersey.

Suspects/Offenders' Issue Series: Disability Awareness Training; A Train the Trainer Program for First Responders

Thursday, July 31, 2014
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Everyone needs disability awareness training; this is not unique to first responders. However, a presence at situations that call for a response to challenging behaviors, alleged criminal conduct, physical and medical needs, assistance in a matter, or service and protection are imperative to the well-being and quality of life for the individual(s) first responders come in contact with. Individuals with disabilities may require response that would vary from everyday encounters. If you are not educated on this topic, results can be catastrophic.

Mr. Whalen, Chief Askey, and Captain Mann will introduce the main elements in training law enforcement, best ways to deliver training, challenges every police department has, and how Disability Awareness Training should be incorporated. They will also discuss the rold of law enforcement and how it may call for a different approach when interacting with an individual with a disability and how training plays a key role in ensuring proper response. View the session slides. View the transcript.

Abuse of People with Disabilities: A Silent Epidemic

Thursday, June 26, 2014
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Join us for a webinar featuring a self-advocacy PSA, "Abuse of People with Disabilities: A Silent Epidemic," by powerful self-advocates Kecia Weller and Molly Kennedy. Molly will join us as a presenter to explain what abuse is and the different forms abuse can take, and tell victims how to report abuse. She will explain the word "intimidation", and help victims understand that abuse is always unacceptable. She will also share their video. View the session slides. View the transcript.

Using Model Protocols to Guide Criminal Justice Response to Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Victims with Disabilities

Thursday, May 29, 2014
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Domestic and sexual violence against people with disabilities occurs at pandemic rates and yet offenders are rarely held accountable. Through an Office on Violence Against Women Arrest grant, Illinois developed model protocols for law enforcement and prosecutors that provides guidance for responding to violent crimes against people with disabilities. The protocols were developed through the collaborative efforts of victims with disabilities, law enforcement, prosecutors, victim services, disability service providers and other allies committed to criminal justice for crime victims with disabilities. The protocols guide law enforcement and prosecutors in responding to domestic violence and sexual assault victims with disabilities through model guidelines, investigative procedures, pre-trail motion examples, and legal considerations. This webinar will highlight Illinois’ statewide effort to develop the model protocols including the collaborative multi-disciplinary process, design challenges, training and technical assistance components and lessons learned. Key areas of the protocol will be reviewed as well as the process for statewide implementation. NCCJD webinar presenter, Shirley Paceley, working alongside victims with disabilities, facilitated the work group which developed the protocols; provided training of trainers on the protocols and is providing training and technical assistance across the state as the protocols are implemented. View the session slides. View the transcript.

Assisting Crime Victims with Disabilities: Identifying Barriers & Improving Law Enforcement Response

Thursday, April 24, 2014
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According to a Bureau of Justice Statistics report, an estimated 1.3 million nonfatal violent crimes occurred against persons with disabilities in 2012. Improved relations between the law enforcement and the disability communities are needed to reduce and respond effectively to criminal victimization of people with disabilities. In this webinar, Dr. Rosemary Hughes and Sgt. (retired) Michael Sullivan will discuss the results of a focus group study with groups of city and county law enforcement officers and groups of crime victims with disabilities in two states. Topics include the identification of barriers for effective working relationships between the police and people with disabilities as well as recommendations for improving the response of the criminal justice system to crime victims with disabilities. View the session slides. View the transcript.

Can You Hear Me? Connecting the Dots and Building Collaboration to Support People with Disabilities Who Experience Sexual Violence

Thursday, March 27, 2014
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This webinar explores issues frequently overlooked when addressing victimization, specifically sexual violence, against persons with disabilities. The issue of sexual victimization presents a huge grey area that is often side stepped, leaving survivors without supports and services. Dr. Frantz will share important information criminal justice and disability professionals need to know about how to effectively serve these victims and how our own attitudes, experiences, and skill set influence how we respond to survivors with disabilities. Participants will learn how “word choice” can impact the type of sexual assault services victims receive, the importance of “touch” as a proactive strategy for reducing risk of sexual victimization and understand how survivors with complex communication needs can testify in court. View the session slides. View the transcript.

Crime Victims with Disabilities: An Overview for Professionals in the Criminal Justice System

February 27, 1:30 EST.
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Dr. Nora Baladerian is the Director of the Disability, Abuse and Personal Rights Project in Los Angeles, CA; she has worked in the area of abuse of people with disabilities since 1972. She served as a Member of the California Children’s Justice Act Task Force, representing the interests of children with disabilities since 1993 to 2008. She is a former Board Member of the National Committee to Prevent Elder Abuse and Advisory Board Member of the American Bar Association’s Council on Victims. Dr. Baladerian is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Certified Sex Therapist and Board Certified Crisis Responder. She has expertise in conducting evaluations of suspected sexual abuse and assessments with children and adults with developmental disabilities, as well as providing clinical intervention. She consults with attorneys and law enforcement agencies providing expert witness consultation, and serves as an expert panel member for the Los Angeles County Juvenile and Family Courts. Dr. Baladerian is the author of a several guidebooks for professionals, parents and individuals with disabilities, as well as the chapter on psychotherapy intervention for child crime victims with disabilities in the Standards of Care Guidebook developed by the California Victim’s Assistance Programs. As a media consultant she served as the character consultant for Benny on L.A. Law, and has worked with other TV shows, including Doogie Howser and 21 Jump Street as well as other film and print media activities. She hosted “Sexual Healing with Dr. Nora,” a radio talk/call-in show airing on KFNX in Phoenix, Arizona and WALE in Providence, RI for 1-1/2 years. Dr. Baladerian is the Clinical Director of the Counseling Center of West Los Angeles where she maintains a private practice in a group setting. She is the Project Coordinator for the Disability and Abuse Project of Spectrum Institute, and from 2000-2006 the Director of the CAN Do! Project, Child Abuse & Neglect Disability Outreach at Arc Riverside. View the session slides.

Introduction to The Arc's National Center on Criminal Justice & Disability (NCCJD)

January 30, 1:30 EST.
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In this general, introductory overview of NCCJD, learn about NCCJD’s mission, goals, partners, products and services, and find out how you can get involved and become better equipped to provide equal access to justice for individuals with I/DD in your own community and within your profession. The webinar’s target audience is purposefully broad to set the stage for more meaningful dialogue and deeper networking between the criminal justice and disability worlds. (Law enforcement and other first responders, legal professionals, forensic interviewers, victim advocates, disability advocates and other allied professionals are encouraged to view this archived session). View the session slides (PDF).