Autism and the criminal justice system: prevalence, risk factors and vulnerabilities

Ms Vicki Gibbs1

1Autism Spectrum Australia (Aspect), Sydney, Australia

People on the autism spectrum may be at higher risk of involvement with the criminal justice system due to the social, communication and behavioural characteristics that are associated with this neurodevelopmental condition. This presentation will review the evidence to date about the prevalence of both criminal offending and victimisation within this population and examine the specific cognitive and behavioural characteristics that may increase risk for offending behaviour and criminal victimisation. The way in which autism-specific characteristics can increase vulnerability when interacting with criminal justice personnel will also be outlined along with strategies that can be employed by police, and in the court system, to minimise prejudicial outcomes.


Biography:

Vicki is a Clinical Psychologist and National Manager of Aspect Research and Assessments. Vicki has specialised training and experience in the diagnosis and treatment of autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) in children and adults. Vicki has presented at numerous national and international conferences, workshops and training seminars and has co-authored a number of published papers into autism assessment. Vicki has recently developed an Australian first autism training module for police and is completing her PhD in the area of autism and victimisation.

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