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Advocacy Spotlight

DRP Advocates for Client with Intellectual Disability in Criminal Court

Disability Rights Pennsylvania wrote a letter to a Dauphin County criminal court judge deciding the fate of a woman accused of serious and ongoing abuse and neglect of a person with an intellectual disability who was in the defendant’s care.

The letter was written on behalf of a client who, like many Pennsylvanians with disabilities, depends on providers of direct care services for her safety, personal care, effective communication, access to medical care and other services.

DRP had been notified that the defendant was being considered for a first-time offender diversion program, which includes the possibility of expungement of her criminal record.  In the letter to the sentencing judge, DRP expressed concern about any disposition of the criminal charges that would “lead to the expungement of her arrest record, and, concomitantly, conceal her alleged abuse and neglect of a person with a disability from potential future employers who provide services to people with disabilities.”  The request to place the defendant in the diversion program was denied.