01 Dec Charity for Dec. 2-8: Options for Justice
Options for Justice is a nonprofit organization that serves the greater St. Louis region. We support individuals who have a developmental disability and who find themselves involved in the criminal justice system. Most individuals who are referred to the organization are in a time of personal crisis. With the dedicated case management, referral, and life coaching that the OFJ Case Coordinators provide, these at risk individuals are better equipped to navigate the complicated legal system and to achieve a more successful outcome. The vast majority of individuals served are involved in nuisance crimes and not in crimes against people. Once arrested, they do not have the knowledge, tools or supports to follow through with court directives in order to settle their case. This leaves them in the system and also takes a toll on available St. Louis resources.
Options for Justice also provides education and training to professions within the Criminal Justice and the Developmental Disability systems in order to promote an better understanding of the special needs and circumstances of the individuals served. Often, professionals armed with this information can create circumstances and situations better suited to these individuals in order to avoid unnecessary arrests or re-entry into the system. Options for Justice also provides training to individuals who have a developmental disability to better understand and interact with the police before they wind up in the criminal justice system.