New Report Release, “Persons Living with Dementia and the Criminal Legal System”

New Report Release, “Persons Living with Dementia and the Criminal Legal System”

Thursday, June 16, 2022

Together with the American Bar Association and UVA, NRI’s Criminal Justice & Mental Health Research Center recently completed a year-long research study on people with dementia in the criminal legal system. NRI consultant, Dr. Debra A. Pinals, clinical Professor of Psychiatry and director of the Program in Psychiatry, Law, and Ethics at the University of Michigan was also a central figure on the research team. This mixed methods research included data analysis, law case review, and interviews with people who work in law enforcement, correctional facilities, the court system, and geriatric health in order to develop policy recommendations that will improve the experiences of people living with dementia in the criminal legal system. Recommendations include developing civic pathways for diversion; evaluating and amending laws and policies that prohibit placement in otherwise appropriate care settings; institute screening for dementia for people over age 50 who are arrested and/or in correctional facilities; develop trainings for criminal legal actors to identify the signs of dementia; and develop and fund community-based placements that can facilitate the decarceration of this population. The full report “Persons Living with Dementia and the Criminal Legal System” is available at www.Americanbar.org/aging. The research was funded by the RRF Foundation.