Criminal Justice System and People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

Criminal Justice System and People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities 

This course will provide you with an overview of the criminal justice system when someone with an intellectual or developmental disability (IDD) is accused of, or is a victim of, a crime. The steps from questioning to sentencing will be covered as well as how you can support and advocate for the person who is going through this process. 


Hours: 0.50


Certificates provided by accrediting body (1 Match)

National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals


This activity is approved for 0.50 contact hours.

Course Details

Course Code: REL-IDD-0-DSP4
Hours: 0.5
Type: Online Course
Content Expiration Date: 1/31/2024
Learning Objectives:
Advocate for people with IDD who come into contact with the criminal justice system.
Use effective communication skills to advocate for people with IDD suspected of committing crimes.
Effectively support those who are suspected of or charged with crimes.


Section 1: Introduction

  1. About This Course

  2. Learning Objectives

Section 2: Understanding the Problem

  1. Identifying the Problem

  2. People with IDD as Victims

  3. IDD and Offending

  4. Reasons for Contact with The Criminal Justice System

  5. Review

  6. Summary

Section 3: From Police Contact to Trial and/or Sentencing

  1. Contact with the System

  2. Investigation

  3. Arrests

  4. Preliminary Arraignment

  5. Preliminary Hearing

  6. Arraignment

  7. Trial

  8. Categories of Offenses

  9. Property Crimes

  10. Assault and Battery

  11. Sex Crimes

  12. Review

  13. Summary

Section 4: Advocating for People You Support

  1. Direct Support Staff and the Criminal Justice System

  2. Protecting the Rights of the Accused

  3. Supporting the Accused

  4. Communicating with the Authorities

  5. Developing Safety Plans

  6. Personalized Justice Plan

  7. Review

  8. Summary

Section 5: Conclusion

  1. Summary

  2. Course Contributors

  3. Resources

  4. References

  5. Congratulations!

  6. Exam

Instructor: Beverly Frantz, PhD
Beverly Frantz is the project director for the criminal justice and sexuality initiatives at the Institute on Disabilities, Temple University. Dr. Frantz specializes in working with individuals with intellectual disabilities and autism and the intersection of healthy sexuality, sexual violence and the criminal justice system; and, on developing pro-active strategies and resources to reduce the risk of sexual and domestic violence, especially for individuals with complex communication needs. Dr. Frantz has extensive experience in victim and disability advocacy and is co-founder of A Woman’s Place, a domestic violence program and shelter. She has served on the faculty of the Pennsylvania Victim Assistance Academy, AEquitas, the National Prosecutors’ Resource on Violence Against Women, and is an adjunct faculty member at Temple University. Dr. Frantz is a national recognized speaker, author of peer reviewed journal articles, DVDs, book chapters, tip sheets and personal safety/sexual abuse curricula for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities and serves on various state and national advisory committees. She was an ESPN, E-60 research consultant for their segment on the sexual abuse of athletes with intellectual disabilities. She is the recipient of the Pennsylvania Governor’s Victim Service Pathfinder award. Dr. Frantz holds a master’s degree from Villanova University and the London School of Economics and her doctorate degree from Widener University, with a specialization in human sexuality. Disclosure: Beverly Frantz, PhD has declared that no conflict of interest, Relevant Financial Relationship or Relevant Non-Financial Relationship exists.
Staff Writer: Rhonda Davin, Ph.D., BCBA-D
Dr. Rhonda Davin is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst with over 25 years of experience in the fields of developmental disabilities and autism. She has served the field as a teacher, college professor, consultant and expert witness. She started Behavior Consulting Services which provided direct behavior analytic services to children with autism and their families. She has supervised and mentored several behavior analysts and service providers currently practicing in the field today. Dr. Davin has also provided technical assistance for large scale organizational change efforts in the area of Positive Behavior Supports. Disclosure: Rhonda Davin, Ph.D., BCBA-D has declared that no conflict of interest, Relevant Financial Relationship or Relevant Non-Financial Relationship exists.
Target Audience:
The target audience for this course is: Direct Support Professionals; General Staff; in the following settings: Intellectual Developmental Disabilities.
Relias will be transparent in disclosing if any commercial support, sponsorship or co-providership is present prior to the learner completing the course.
Course Delivery Method and Format
Asynchronous/Online Distance Learning; please see certificate details for specifics on delivery format.
Relias has a grievance policy in place to facilitate reports of dissatisfaction. Relias will make every effort to resolve each grievance in a mutually satisfactory manner. In order to report a complaint or grievance please contact Relias.
If you require special accommodations to complete this module, please contact Relias Support by completing the web form ( or by using the chat functionality.
All courses offered by Relias, LLC are developed from a foundation of diversity, inclusiveness, and a multicultural perspective. Knowledge, values and awareness related to cultural competency are infused throughout the course content.
Reference herein to any specific commercial product, process, or service by trade name, trademark, service mark, manufacturer or otherwise does not constitute or imply any endorsement, recommendation, or favoring of, or affiliation with, Relias, LLC.
All characteristics and organizations referenced in the following training are fictional. Any resemblance to any actual organizations or persons living or dead, is purely coincidental.
To earn continuing education credit for this course you must achieve a passing score of 80% on the post-test and complete the course evaluation.
If you require special accommodations to complete this module, please contact Relias Customer Support here.