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There has been growing concern among stakeholders about individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and sex offending as research supports an indirect association. The purpose of this paper is threefold: first, bring more awareness of the sexuality and deviant/criminal sexual behavior among those with ASD to stakeholders in the criminal justice system (CJS); second, demonstrate that much of the deviant or sexual offending behavior exhibited among those with ASD is often a manifestation of their ASD symptoms and not malice; and third, demonstrate the necessity to address specific needs of individuals with ASD who enter the CJS due to criminal sexual behavior.


Purpose There has been growing concern among stakeholders about individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and sex offending as research supports an indirect association. The purpose of this paper is threefold: first, bring more awareness of the sexuality and deviant/criminal sexual behavior among those with ASD to stakeholders in the criminal justice system (CJS); second, demonstrate that much of the deviant or sexual offending behavior exhibited among those with ASD is often a manifestation of their ASD symptoms and not malice; and third, demonstrate the necessity to address specific needs of individuals with ASD who enter the CJS due to criminal sexual behavior. Design/methodology/approach This paper provides an overview of the ASD symptomology, including the diagnostic changes, a review of the literature on ASD and sexuality, which includes deviant sexual behavior and sexual offending. Findings The author linked examples of deviant or sexual behavior in the research literature to the ASD symptomology and described how the symptomology explains such behavior. Originality/value Sexual offending among those with ASD has received little research outside the mental health field. This review is of particular importance to those in the CJS unfamiliar with ASD, as they should handle them differently with regard to formal interviewing, measures of competency, capacity, and sentencing.


Forensic Aspects of Autism Spectrum Conditions

Scottish Prison Service College, Polmont16 May 2019£95 per delegate

There is an increasing interest in the implication of a diagnosis of autism spectrum conditions (ASC/ASD) in individuals coming into contact with the criminal justice system. People with ASC often challenge criminal justice agencies and processes.

The course aims to highlight key issues in understanding offending by people on the autism spectrum and, to explore the link between autism and violent offending (including sexual offending). The course will cover:

  • diagnostic issues
  • the prevalence of ASC in criminal justice settings
  • the impact of co-morbid conditions
  • the relevance of ‘core features’ of autism to offending behaviour

Interventions, responsivity, outcomes and risk management will also be discussed. There will be an opportunity to consider case studies.

TARGET AUDIENCE
This course is for any professional working in criminal justice, mental health or social work. Some basic knowledge of autism would be advisable, as the course is focused on autism in the context of offending behavior rather than in general settings. 


asc asd criminal justice autism spectrum explore link between autism and sexual offending

 
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