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Victims, Witnesses, and Defendants with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

Ariel Simms, The Arc of the United States; Kristine Hamann, Prosecutors' Center for Excellence; Melissa Reuland, Vera Institute of Justice

People with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) are over-represented in every part of the criminal justice system, including as victims and suspects or defendants. Prosecutors, who may encounter individuals with I/DD in a variety of ways, do not always have a full understanding of these types of disabilities or their potential impact on resolving cases.

This June 24, 2019, webinar provided an overview of I/DD, prosecutors' legal obligations when interacting with the disability community, and concrete strategies to effectively serve this population using real-life case scenarios. This webinar provided participants the opportunity to hear from the Serving Safely: The National Initiative to Enhance Policing for Persons with Mental Illnesses and Developmental Disabilities team – a collaborative effort between BJA, Vera Institute of Justice, and partners in the fields of policing, mental illness, I/DD, crisis intervention, peer advocacy, emergency medicine, technology development, and prosecution.

Date Published: July 26, 2019