Many in contact with the criminal justice system (CJS) have complex needs, including autism. The purpose of this paper is to present the development, design and evaluation of a training package designed to increase awareness that Youth Offending Team (YOT) staff members in the UK have of autism in the CJS (Talbot, 2010). Training quality and effectiveness was assessed. This paper aims to highlight the need for organisations/individuals providing training services relating to autism to be transparent, evidence based and open to sharing best practice. By evaluating practice, disseminating findings and hopefully providing mutual support, trainers can create networks to enhance the value of training provision, ultimately increasing the quality of support offered to individuals with autism.
A training package relating to autism in forensic systems was developed and delivered to staff working within a UK YOT. Levels of self-reported knowledge and confidence in working with individuals with autism are measured by evaluation questionnaires completed pre- and post-training.
Results demonstrate a significant increase in self-reported knowledge and confidence in working with individuals with autism within the CJS following training.
This highlights the potential for evidence-based staff training to enhance individuals’ practice working with individuals with autism within the CJS.
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