Criminal Justice / First Responders

Three-Part Webinar Series:
Prosecuting and Defending Criminal Cases Involving Persons with Disabilities

Part I: Legal Landscape of Disability Rights and Criminal Justice

Thursday, April 16, 2015, 1:00 - 2:00 PM EST
Presenters: Jeffrey M. Skakalski, JD, Disability Rights Network of PA and Viktoria Kristiansson, JD, AEquitas: The Prosecutors' Resource on Violence Against Women

Description: Persons with developmental disabilities face unique challenges and a myriad of issues when encountering the criminal justice system as a victim or defendant. In order to effectively represent a client with a developmental disability, criminal justice professionals need to be knowledgeable of the various attributes of people with developmental disabilities as well as their rights afforded under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). This presentation will also discuss existing case law and relevant statutes that have an impact on cases involving victims and defendants with developmental disabilities.

graphic: video camera Watch the archived Part I presentation online

Part II: Trial Considerations for Criminal Defense Attorneys

Friday, April 17, 2015, 10:00 - 11:00 AM EST
Presenter: Jeffrey M. Skakalski, JD, Disability Rights Network of PA

Description: Criminal defense attorneys often find themselves protecting the rights of individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities, or mental illness. Defending these cases can be challenging, but knowing the law and raising these issues can make the difference between freedom and incarceration. This presentation will focus on diversion, competency standards, Miranda issues, coaching or tainting witnesses with mental disabilities, admissibility of mental health evidence, and obtaining mental health care for your client. There will also be some discussion of ethical considerations and federal civil rights.

graphic: video camera Watch the archived Part II presentation online

Part III: Trial Considerations for Prosecutors

Friday, April 17, 2015, 1:00 - 2:00 PM EST
Presenter: Viktoria Kristiansson, JD, AEquitas: The Prosecutors' Resource on Violence Against Women

Description: Developmental disabilities may impact a victim's ability to participate in a criminal investigation and testify at trial. Prosecutors handling cases involving victims with developmental disabilities must be prepared toaddress the impact of the developmental disability on the victim, as well as on the crime - particularly when assessing the offender's behaviors, victim selection, and steps taken to perpetrate the crime. This webinar will enable prosecutors to anticipate issues and evidence that need to be addressed prior to trial; file and argue pretrial motions; develop trial strategies that appreciate the mental, intellectual, developmental disabilities of the victim involved in the case; and understand sentencing considerations.

graphic: video camera Watch the archived Part III presentation online

Additional Information about All Webinars

Each webinar should qualify attorneys for one (1) hour of substantive continuing legal education credit.

The webinars are free and participants may participate in one, two or all three.

Registration is required.

Requests for accommodations must be made by April 2, 2015.

This project is supported by a grant from the PA Developmental Disabilities Council.

For more information

Contact Beverly Frantz, PhD

Institute on Disabilities at Temple University
University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities Education, Research and Service