The Arc of Loudoun hosts Pathways to Justice Training in Leesburg
LEESBURG, Virginia – May 15, 2017 – The Arc of Loudoun on Paxton Campus will be hosting the Pathways to Justice Training program on Tuesday, May 23rd from 9:00am-5:00pm, at Ida Lee Recreation Center. Pathways to Justice is a field-tested criminal justice and disability training provided by The Arc of the US’s NCCJD (National Center on Criminal Justice & Disability). This one-day training program will bring together criminal justice-related and disability professionals into one place to address key barriers to justice for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
“Pathways to Justice will discuss issues proactively before a crisis occurs to benefit all involved,” said Melissa Heifetz, The Arc of Loudoun’s Executive Director. “The program piggybacks nicely with what we’ve been doing with local law enforcement in our ‘Positive Interactions with Law Enforcement’ training program here on Paxton Campus over the past year.”
In addition, the training aims to educate individuals in the criminal justice system about cracks in the system that can have devastating effects on people with disabilities.
“Our goal is to have law enforcement recognize and respond appropriately to ID/DD population and to ensure the safety of everyone involved in a possible critical situation,” said Sergeant Linda Cerniglia, Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office Crisis Intervention Team Coordinator. “By raising our own awareness to the needs and even limitations of this population, law enforcement will be able to utilize de-escalation skills, use the proper resources and, maybe even not take immediate action but to observe and listen to what is going on.”
Over 100 law enforcement, legal professionals, victim service professionals, disability advocates and families from Loudoun, Fairfax, and Prince William County will be attending the event.
The Arc of Loudoun on Paxton Campus is a (501)(c)(3), non-profit organization that advocates for, and provides direct service to, adults and children with disabilities, as well as their families and caretakers, through its many programs: The Aurora School, Open Door Learning Center, ALLY Advocacy Center, STEP Up and Maggie’s Closet. The Arc of Loudoun is celebrating 50 years serving people with disabilities in Loudoun since 1967.