Legal & Criminal Justice Regional

Legal and Criminal Justice for People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
The Arc of California is dedicated to advocating for and advancing sound policy that promotes and ensures equal justice and fair treatment for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD).Recognizing that people with IDD enter the criminal justice system in different ways such as; victims, witnesses, suspect and offenders at disproportionately high rates we are committed to strengthening public policy efforts to make sure that all persons with IDD are afforded the appropriate accommodations and supports to make equal access to justice and fair treatment a reality.

The Arc and The American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD) issued a Joint Statement. The Arc of California supports this position and believes People with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities (IDD) have the right to justice and fair treatment in all areas of the criminal justice system, and must be afforded the supports and accommodations required to make justice and fair treatment a reality.

The Arc received funding from the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), the U.S. Department of Justice to create The Arc’s National Center on Criminal Justice and Disability® (NCCJD®). This is the first national effort of its kind to bring together both victim and suspect/offender issues involving people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (or I/DD) under one roof.

NCCJD®’s goal is to build the capacity of the criminal justice system to respond to gaps in existing services for people with disabilities, focusing on people with I/DD who remain a hidden population within the criminal justice system with little or no access to advocacy supports or services. To learn more about the NCCJD visit:

Criminal Justice and Legal Resources

Victim Services
The Victims of Crime Resource Center is located on the Pacific McGeorge School of Law campus in Sacramento, California.The Center operates the State of California’s confidential, toll-free 1-800-VICTIMS line.
Determined on a case-by-case basis, the Victims of Crime Resource Center may be able to offer limited representation to victims of crime. Through this service, victims will be able to receive assistance from attorneys in exercising their rights at various stages in the criminal justice process (pre-trial, trial and post-trial).

California Victim Compensation BoardThere are 59 Victim Witness Assistance Centers — one in each county and one more in the City of Los Angeles — that work directly with the California Victim Compensation Program (CalVCP) to assist victims. Call a victim advocate at the center in your area for help with completing and submitting an application and to learn more about the criminal justice system.

Disability Rights California – To ask for legal help, call DRC at 1-800-776-5746 (Voice) or fill out a Short Term Assistance Request Form. For TTY call 1-800-776-5746. Someone will contact you in 2-3 days. If your issue is a DRC priority, they will schedule an appointment. DRC will give you general information, referrals or self-advocacy materials.

Sexual Assault and Violence Prevention

The Vera Institute of Justice, End Abuse of People with Disabilities
The End Abuse of People with Disabilities website is managed by the Center on Victimization and Safety (CVS) at the Vera Institute of Justice. As awareness about the rates of violence against people with disabilities and Deaf people grows, so does the need to connect the practitioners, organizations, government agencies, communities, and individuals that make up the growing movement to end abuse of people with disabilities and Deaf people. This website is a place to connect with others engaged in this work, to access the latest resources and research from the field, and to advance the thinking around intervention and prevention.

Decreasing the number of crimes committed against people with disabilities involves two primary strategies: preventing the abuse from happening in the first place and stopping those who abuse from continuing to do so. National and local prevention strategies are limited, while barriers in the criminal justice system prevent many people who are responsible for these crimes from being held accountable.