Model Programs / Promising Practices

If you are looking for ideas on how to begin providing services, start a new project or improve on what you are already doing to serve people with disabilities in the criminal justice system, this is a great place to get some ideas.

Building Partnerships for the Protection of Persons w/ Disabilities

The Building Partnerships for the Protection of Persons with Disabilities Initiative (BPI) is a collaboration that links Massachusetts adult protective service agencies, human services agencies and law enforcement communities to address abuse, neglect and crimes committed against persons with disabilities. An innovative initiative which affords crime victims with disabilities equal access to the criminal justice system. The “Building Partnerships” initiative uses a multidisciplinary approach to address crimes committed against persons with disabilities.

Equal Justice for People with Developmental Disabilities

The Institute provides training at the state and national level to agencies professionals, family members and people with disabilities around incidents and prevalence about victimization. A wide variety of training topics are offered and trainings can be customized to meet the needs of each organization. Topics include: Disparities to receiving due process from suspect and defendant; Healthy sexuality-training for parents as a proactive means of not becoming a victim or defendant; Transitional training for professionals working with students moving from school to work or group home to community; State-wide, cross-system training on a variety of criminal justice topics, ADA adherence, communication and improved interaction with people with disabilities, and general awareness of issues about people with disabilities for criminal justice professionals including lawyers, judges, law enforcement; Personal safety for students with disabilities—a proactive approach to avoid being a victim or defendant; Customized training on the criminal justice topics listed above, based on needs of group.

FASD Youth Justice Project (Canada)

Through this program FASD Youth Justice Project Officers work with a group of professionals, including child protection workers and Crown prosecutors, to work out the best possible resolution to a criminal charge that the prosecutor can recommend to a judge when the person has an FASD.

FASD Justice Initiative

This project provides information and  resources regarding fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) and the criminal justice system, including fact sheets, webinars, and publications.    

Improving Outcomes for Youth with Disabilities in Juvenile Corrections

This toolkit includes evidence- and research-based practices, tools, and resources that educators, families, facilities, and community agencies can use to better support and improve the long-term outcomes for youth with disabilities in juvenile correctional facilities.

Multidisciplinary Response to Crime Victims with Disabilities

This set of publications provided through Office for Victims of Crime was developed as the result of a project conducted by two grantees to adapt and replicate their innovative, multidisciplinary response models. The replication guides in this set include a state-level guide and a community-level guide:

State-Level Replication Guide

This guide describes the Building Partnerships for the Protection of Persons with Disabilities Initiative (BPI), which uses a prosecution-based multidisciplinary team approach to address abuse committed against persons with disabilities.

Community-Level Replication Guide

This guide walks you through a seven-step model to improve your community’s capacity to respond to crime victims with disabilities. Every step in the model is designed to permanently change your response to crime victims with disabilities. Together, this set of guides discusses how adult protective services, human services agencies, law enforcement, disability and Deaf advocates, self-advocates, and others can work together to ensure equal and effective access to the criminal justice system for persons with disabilities.

Options for Justice

Options for Justice is a nonprofit organization supported by the St. Louis Office for DD Resources serving individuals with developmental disabilities in St. Louis City who are at risk to become or who are involved with the criminal justice system. Options for Justice is dedicated to educating the community, members of the justice system, and individuals with developmental disabilities by advocating on behalf of the offender with developmental disabilities. This organization also develops appropriate and effective alternatives for an offender with developmental disabilities within the justice system from the initial point of system entry through sentencing, probation, parole, and release.

Promising Practices for Serving Crime Victims with Disabilities

This toolkit identifies and addresses the issues and obstacles encountered by people with disabilities who have been victimized or abused. The information provided in this resource and the companion bulletin is intended to function as a guide for organizations seeking to improve their capacity to respond to crime victims with disabilities. Sections address collaborating, conducting a needs assessment, making a plan, implementing the plan, continued listening to the community, and sustainability.

Victoria Department of Human Services (Australia)

The Department of Human Services, Disability Services helps people with an intellectual disability by offering support and services when in contact with the criminal justice system by assisting in preparing for court and providing alternatives to incarceration during sentencing. Those incarcerated can get support and services from Disability Services staff working within the prison system. A small number of people with an intellectual disability who have complex needs may require additional specialist services. Such services include behavior management programs, programs for sex offenders and accommodation for people leaving prison or on bail.