The purpose of this paper is to examine the role of liaison and diversion services working in the lower courts (also known as Magistrates’ courts) with regard to autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) and their assessment, in particular, the role of pre-sentence and psychiatric reports and interviews.
Current practice is described in the lower courts in the context of current legislation and procedures.
When writing reports, there is a need for expertise to offer an opinion on future risk, disposal and what needs to be in place to support people with ASDs. No assumptions should be made when reporting on the basis of an ASD diagnosis alone and each case must be assessed on its individual merits while ensuring that individual human rights are protected.
There is currently a sparse literature examining ASD in court settings. This paper seeks to clarify the current practice.
Chaplin, E., McCarthy, J. and Forrester, A. (2017), "Defendants with autism spectrum disorders: what is the role of court liaison and diversion?", Advances in Autism, Vol. 3 No. 4, pp. 220-228. https://doi.org/10.1108/AIA-08-2017-0018
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