The Arc of Winnebago, Boone and Ogle Counties held their first Pathways to Justice Training Seminar at Prairie Street Brewhouse on March 2. The Arc of Winnebago, Boone and Ogle Counties received a $2,000 Pathways to Justice grant from its national organization, The Arc of the U.S.
Amy Newell, Executive Director of The Arc of Winnebago, Boone and Ogle Counties, said, “The community turnout of attorneys, first responders and victim advocates exceeded our expectations for our first training. We were pleased to help start the conversation regarding individuals with a disability encountering the criminal justice system, either as a victim or offender.”
Created by The Arc’s National Center on Criminal Justice and Disability (NCCJD) in 2013, Pathways to Justice is a first-of-its kind training initiative. It strives to form strong and lasting partnerships between criminal justice and disability professionals that address service gaps encountered by people with disabilities and their families within the criminal justice arena. The curriculum focuses on increasing awareness of intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) among the justice community and providing appropriate supports and accommodations.
The Arc of Winnebago, Boone and Ogle Counties has been collaborating with local law enforcement to assess the need in our area for training on interacting with individuals with I/DD. The group says there has been a positive response with regard to training integration and the formation of a Disability Response Team. The Arc said that it desires to bring another training into the area as funding allows.