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A critical review of current police training and policy for autism spectrum disorder

Diana Hepworth (University of Salford, Manchester, UK)

Journal of Intellectual Disabilities and Offending Behaviour

ISSN: 2050-8824

Article publication date: 11 December 2017

710

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to critically review the current police training and criminal justice policy regarding the treatment of suspects with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) during the initial stages of the criminal justice system (CJS), and provide potential policy reform and areas for further research.

Design/methodology/approach

By reviewing extant literature, research and policy documents, this paper provides a critical review of the current policy and training for dealing with suspects with ASD in the current CJS in England and Wales for suspects with ASD.

Findings

This paper proposes that current policy and police staff training is insufficient during all initial stages of the criminal justice process. Although there are emerging policies and schemes which are promising, they require further research and national participation. Policy reform and improved training is required to ensure minimal opportunities for miscarriages of justice to those individuals with ASD.

Originality/value

This paper provides a chronological journey through the initial stages of the CJS in England and Wales for a suspect with ASD, and the challenges that they may face. Suggestions are made based on criminological and psychological research to remedy the potential opportunities for miscarriages of justice.

Keywords

Citation

Hepworth, D. (2017), "A critical review of current police training and policy for autism spectrum disorder", Journal of Intellectual Disabilities and Offending Behaviour, Vol. 8 No. 4, pp. 212-222. https://doi.org/10.1108/JIDOB-06-2017-0011

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited

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