Decriminalize Developmental Disabilities

The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.


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Welcome to the Decriminalize Developmental Disabilities website

The Autism Society of America, the nation’s oldest and largest grassroots Autism organization has partnered with Decriminalize Developmental Disabilities (D3), a nationwide non-profit dedicated to decriminalizing developmental disabilities, to produce a Public Defenders Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) brochure, to assist defense attorneys representing clients with Autism. Read the full release here. See the brochure here.

We stand for the reform of injustices in the criminal justice system with regard to the high risk population of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Currently, the criminal justice system makes little or no attempt to understand this population or to recognize their unique needs, supports and challenges. Criminal prosecutions often lead to disastrous consequences for these individuals and their families without any benefit to the public. Our goal is to make changes that will save these individuals from the unnecessary cruelty the criminal justice system is putting them through. Implementing this goal will require educating legislators, prosecutors and judges about this population and their need to be understood and provided education, rather than prosecuted, by the legal system.

We are a parent advocacy group, nonpolitical, nonsectarian organization.

bronze statue of lady justice holding the scales

Our Work

This year, 2022, our work includes SB443. Learn more about the work we’ve been doing since 2019.