Earlier this year, the Dementia Justice Society of Canada contacted over 200 dementia organizations from around the world to gather information about any non-state actor criminal justice initiatives that are underway or being developed in their respective jurisdictions. We were interested in learning about activities that focus on criminal defendants with dementia.
We heard from 18 organizations who operate at either the national, regional (e.g., state / provincial / territorial), or local level. Some work across multiple levels. The organizations were based in the following jurisdictions: Australia; Belgium; Canada; Czech Republic; Ireland; Jamaica; Lebanon; Puerto Rico; Trinidad and Tobago; and the United States.
Of the 18 organizations who responded, six indicated that they are involved in criminal justice initiatives that are related to persons with dementia. Some of these activities include participating in a multi-sectoral advisory committee on resident-to-resident aggression; participating in an inquest following a fatal resident-to-resident conflict; educating staff and inmates at correctional facilities; and educating police on topics such as strategies for communicating with people with dementia.
Among all 18 responses, five themes emerged:
Dementia Justice is grateful to the non-state actor dementia organizations who considered and/or responded to our questionnaire. We are particularly thankful for the detailed responses provided by a handful of organizations. Internally at Dementia Justice, we are grateful for the meticulous volunteer work of our stakeholder engagement coordinator, Sarah Main, whose effort and dedication enabled us to contact over 200 non-state actor dementia organizations from around the world.
The full review is available here.
About Dementia Justice
Dementia Justice is a federally incorporated non-profit society dedicated to advancing the rights, needs and dignity of people with dementia who are, or are at risk of becoming, involved with the criminal justice system. We aim to achieve our objectives through public advocacy, awareness-raising, education, and interdisciplinary legal and policy research.