March 16, 2020
Advocating for Individuals with Autism in the Justice System
Merakey USA Board member, the Honorable Kelly C. Wall, Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas presented on a panel before the Pennsylvania Conference of State Trial Judges at its bi-annual conference on February 29, 2020. Judge Wall collaborated with Supreme Court Justice Kevin Dougherty on autism in the justice system. The panel, Mental Health in the Courts: Autism is not a Label addressed several subjects including, but not limited to, the treatment of individuals on the autism spectrum in the criminal justice system, crafting appropriate sentences and placements that address their needs, creating accommodations for Courtroom appearances, and identifying resources to educate judges, probation officers and court personnel.
Judge Wall also presented her panel When Family Court and Autism Intersect at the Cambria County Bench and Bar Association on March 6, 2020. Judge Wall’s panel encompassed several issues including the role of the counsel as an advocate or counselor at law, educating judges on the characteristics and needs of autistic children, and crafting custody schedules to meet the best interest of the children.
Merakey is grateful to Judge Wall and her continued advocacy for children with autism who present in the court system.
Pictured L-R: Supreme Court Justice Kevin Dougherty, Khylil Robinson, self- advocate for autism awareness, the Honorable Kelly C. Wall, and the Honorable Jennifer Rogers, Lucerne County Court of Common Pleas.