Overview and Inventory of HHS Efforts to Assist Incarcerated and Reentering Individuals and their Families . University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD) Projects and Products Related to People with Disabilities in the Criminal Justice System


Type of Activity: Services, Training, Information Dissemination and/or Research (varies by university center)

Funding Mechanism: Grant

Total Available Funding: $39 Million for UCEEDs

Number of Awards: 67

Average Award Amount per year: $582,000

Length of Project Period: 5 years

Federal Partners: US Department of Education (ED), National Institutes of Health (NIH), Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Summary: The National Network of University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities Education, Research, and Service ( University Centers, UCEDDs) is a discretionary grant program. Funding is provided to support the operation and administration of a national network of UCEDDs. The grant is used to support the operation and administration of the center and additional funds are leveraged to implement the core activities of interdisciplinary training, community service (e.g., training, technical assistance, exemplary services), research, information dissemination. These centers support activities that address various issues from prevention to early intervention to supported employment. They represent a broad range of disabilities.

Currently, the Administration on Developmental Disabilities funds 67 grants to 68 UCEDDs in every state and territory. UCEDDs are designed to increase the independence, productivity, and community integration and inclusion of individuals with developmental disabilities.


Since 1963, University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDDs) have worked towards a nation in which all Americans, including those with disabilities, participate fully in their communities. The national network of UCEDDs is authorized under Public Law 106-402 (The Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act of 2000). Currently, there is-at least one UCEDD in every US state and territory-that enabled the flow of disability-related information between community and university.

Centers work with people with disabilities, members of their families, state and local government agencies, and community providers in projects that provide training, technical assistance, service, research, and information sharing, with a focus on building the capacity of communities to sustain all their citizens.

Relevant Grantees:

Boling Center for Developmental Disabilities, University of Tennessee Health Science Center ( Memphis, TN)

Project: Youthful Offenders Project (YOP)

Contact Information:

Melissa Hoffman
Email: mhoffman@uthsc.edu
Phone: 901-448-5944
Phone: (901) 448-6511
Toll Free: (888) 572-2249
Web Page: http://www.utmem.edu/bcdd/

Institute on Disabilities, Temple University ( Philadelphia, PA)


Under Arrest-Understanding the Criminal Justice System in PA: DVD plus companion instructional guide

Individuals with Mental Retardation and the Criminal Justice System: Complete Set of 5 Training Guides

Contact Information:

Phone: (215) 204-1356
Email: iod@temple.edu
Web Page: http://disabilities.temple.edu/

C. Kent McGuire, PhD
Executive Director (Acting)

Institute on Disability, University of New Hampshire ( Durham, NH)

Project: RENEW Prevention

Description: RENEW Prevention provides services to select populations ages 12 through 20, located in Coos County. The program concentrates on at risk youth, dually diagnosed youth, pregnant, unwed females, and youth involved in the criminal justice system. RENEW Prevention aims to help youth avoid substance abuse and other risky behaviors, stay in high school, find jobs and develop strong secondary transition plans. It uses a comprehensive, positive approach that considers the influence of community, work, family, peers, and school environment for adolescents and young adults. RENEW Prevention reaches 50 to 60 young people and their families and encourages them to enroll in the program to receive services both in group and individual settings.

Contact Information:

Phone: (603) 862-4320
Email: Contact.IOD@unh.edu
Web Page:http://www.iod.unh.edu 

Linda Bimbo, MS
Executive Director (Acting)
Email: lbimbo@unh.edu

Institute on Disability and Human Development, University of Illinois at Chicago ( Chicago, IL)


Obligations by Courts in Criminal Proceedings under ADA & Section 503

Obligations of Courts (state & local) to Provide Effective Communication

Contact Information:

Email:  gldbtac@uic.edu
Phone: (800) 494-4232

Oregon Institute on Disability & Development, Oregon Health & Science University, Child Development and Rehabilitation Center ( Portland, OR)

Product:  Close, D. W., & Walker, H. M. (2010). Navigating the criminal justice system for youth and adults with developmental disabilities: Role of the forensic special educator. The Journal of Behavior Analysis of Offender and Victim Treatment and Prevention, 2(2), 74-103.

Contact Information:

Phone: (503) 494-8364
Email: oidd@ohsu.edu
Web Page: http://www.oidd.org
Web Page 2: http://www.ohsu.edu/oidd

Don Lollar, Ed.D.
Executive Director
Email: lollar@ohsu.edu

Schiefelbusch Institute for Life Span Studies, University of Kansas ( Lawrence, KS)

Project: Self-Determination in Transition to Adulthood for Youth with Disabilities: The Impact of Interventions on Self-Determination and Adult Outcomes

Description: Despite the wide visibility of the importance of self-determination to achieve positive life outcomes for youth with disabilities, there is little research to document both the capacity of interventions designed to promote such outcomes to actually do so and of the impact of such interventions (and enhanced self-determination) on outcomes for youth. Researchers at The Kansas University Center on Developmental Disabilities and the Beach Center on Disability, both at the University of Kansas, and the Center on Self-Determination at the Oregon Health Sciences University (OHSU) are conducting conduct three semi-longitudinal, national research studies examining the impact of interventions to promote the self-determination of students with (study 1) high incidence (learning disabilities, mild intellectual disabilities, emotional/behavioral disorders, etc.), (study 2) low incidence disabilities (moderate to severe intellectual disabilities, multiple disabilities, severe autism), and (study 3) students who are at-risk for poor adult outcomes (students with disabilities from foster systems, students who have had interactions with the juvenile justice system, etc.) on student self-determination and on the impact of self-determination on adult outcomes and quality of life.

The third study involves a randomized control study of 100 youth receiving special education who are in the foster care system and are between the ages of 16 and 21. This group of students is disproportionately represented in special education (40-50%) and is at high risk for homelessness, unemployment and involvement with the juvenile justice and adult criminal systems. The intervention evaluated is intensive, based on the Center on Self-Determination's TAKE CHARGE for the future program and is implemented through non-school settings, such as the students foster care setting, Independent Living programs and one-stops. After three years of intensive treatment, the final two years will examine adult employment, post-secondary education, independent living, and community integration outcomes through a follow-along study component.

Contact Information:

Michael Wehmeyer
Executive Director
Email: wehmeyer@ku.edu
Phone: (785) 864-0723
Phone 2: (785) 864-4295
Web Page: http://kuccd.org

Vanderbilt Kennedy Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities, Vanderbilt University ( Nashville, TN)

Project: Vanderbilt Kennedy Center Partnership with Davidson County Mental Health Court

Description: The Vanderbilt Kennedy Center (VKC) partnered with Judge Dan Eisenstein of the Davidson County Mental Health Court to find solutions to the alarmingly high number of young adults in prison who have intellectual disabilities and co-occurring psychiatric and substance abuse issues.  Each month, Elisabeth Dykens, Ph.D. and Judge Eisenstein bring together state commissioners in mental retardation, mental health, and substance abuse to discuss specific individuals and find solutions to their care.  In doing so, they developed a pilot residential and treatment program, which now includes an innovative art therapy piece offered through the VKC recreation and arts program.  Next steps are to publish a manuscript on the characteristics, prevalence and needs of these young people, as well as others with intellectual disabilities in our local court system.  They are also developing plans to expand the residential and day treatment program that can move these vulnerable individuals out of prison and into treatment.

Contact Information:

Phone: (615) 322-8240
Toll Free: (866) 936-8852
Email: ucedd@vanderbilt.edu
Web Page: http://kc.vanderbilt.edu/kennedy/ucedd/
Web Page 2: http://www.familypathfinder.org

Elisabeth M. Dykens, PhD
Executive Director
Email: Elisabeth.dykens@vanderbilt.edu

Locations of Projects: See Above

Evaluation Activities: N/A

Future Prospects: The Statutory Authority for this funding opportunity is the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act of 2000 (DD Act of 2000) (42 U.S.C. 15001, et seq.). According to Section 152 of the DD Act of 2000, grants must be made to each UCEDD that existed in the preceding Fiscal Year that meets the requirements of subtitle D.


Administration on Developmental Disabilities (ADD)
Office of the Commissioner
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
370 L'Enfant Promenade, S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20447 
Phone number: 202.690.6590

Website: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/add/index.html

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