by Dr. Geoffrey Johnson, DCPC Executive Director
Navigating the criminal justice system can complex and daunting. This task can be even more difficult for families when financial considerations must be addressed and emotions are heightened. For unsuspecting residents, the Washington D.C. metropolitan area (which consists of a huge web of federal, state, and local law enforcement entities), can be one of the worst places on earth to commit a crime—literally. This is because the United States is one of the largest jailers in the world.
In addition to the DC Metropolitan Police Department (MPD), there are over 30 more law enforcement agencies housed in the nation’s capitol. Furthermore, statistically, one in three men in this urban environment can expect to have some involvement with the criminal justice system during their lifetime, especially if they are of color.
DC Project Connect (DCPC), a nonprofit 501c(3) organization, advocates for families of the incarcerated, affected children, and returning citizens by providing pro bono services. The organization’s executive director, Dr. Geoffrey Johnson developed the DC Project Connect Family Handbook: Surviving a Loved One’s Incarceration, to assist families struggling to make decisions regarding the incarceration of a significant family member. In this regard, family oftentimes need to better understand the complexities of the criminal justice system. Therefore, in addition to user-friendly text, the handbook provides answers to frequently asked questions and probable scenarios that family members may encounter.
Further, information about the components of the District and Federal government as well as legal terms are provided. We believe that this information can be empowering and contribute to helping families provide support to their loved ones.
This handbook is located on our website: https://www.dcprojectconnect.com/publications