Self - Advocacy Workbook


Chapter 1
Advocacy, Preparations & Strategies

1-1 Introduction
1-2 Police Contact
1-3 Arrest
1-4 Arraignment
1-5 PreTrial    
1-6 Trial


Chapter 2

2-1 Aiding & Abetting
2-2 Conspiracy
2-3 Delivery of Controlled Substance






If an advocate is present at the time of arrest, the best thing to do is to remind the person not to say anything until the person has a lawyer.  In addition, it will not hurt to tell the police the person has a cognitive/communication disability and requires ADA mandated accommodation in the form of a criminal lawyer.

Do not be afraid to state that the police
should not attempt any questioning
until the
lawyer is present!

This is the least you should do until a lawyer is obtained for the person.

Part of the arrest process is the formal "booking" which includes paperwork, pictures and fingerprinting.  Along with any needed reminders about not talking without a lawyer, the advocate should be as supportive as possible because this process can feel scary and intimidating.

If the person is to be jailed until they are arraigned, this would be the time to assure that the jail personnel know about any medications the person takes, allergies they have and any specific disability related needs.

For instance, one person we helped had a hearing impairment acquired after age ten.  He never learned ASL.  He spoke, he read lips, and could read written messages.  He was in our county jail several months before his public defender called to ask for our help.

When we visited him in the jail, we found he had little knowledge of jail procedure for communication, internally or externally.  Because he had speech, people wrongly assumed he could magically read lips with 100% accuracy, and they figured he still had some hearing.  We approached the jail sergeant, had her unearth the TDD/TTY and we taught both our client and the jail personnel how to use it. 

From that day on, he could call us or his lawyer at any time.  The sergeant connected him with "inmate services" who talked and wrote notes to help him learn the process for requests in the jail (e.g. talk to a social worker, etc.). If we had known him at the time of arrest, we would have assured that he had the necessary information and means to communicate much earlier.  Further accommodations were implemented in his subsequent appearances.

Written by: Melissa King, Attorney-at-Law,  King Law Offices; Karen Wolf-Branigin, Wayne State University, Developmental Disabilities Institute; Rachel Pinsky Law Graduate, Wayne State University; Robert Lasker, Belinda Land, Vendalia Collins, Cheryle Trommater, Marsha Katz,
The project staff extend our sincere appreciation to the over 50 people who generously donated their time, support and expertise to the Equal Justice initiative.  Though we cannot thank everyone individually, we particularly acknowledge the following groups and individuals.
The Curriculum Design Board who identified competencies, reviewed materials and curriculum drafts: Jeanice Dagher-Margosian, Michelle James-Mann, Florence Kozak, Gary Margosian, Mark Ptaszek, Penny Ryder, Donna Sabourin, Jim Soden, Bob Stein, Ted Wybrecht
The field test participants and field site coordinators who attended the training in the very earliest stages: Sarah Irvine. People First of Oakland Count

First Edition Spring 1998 --
Equal Justice is a collaborative partnership between Washtenaw Association for Community Advocacy and Wayne State University Developmental Disabilities Institute.  This material was developed and disseminated with funding from the Michigan Developmental Disabilities Council Grant 96620