Defendants with intellectual disability and autism spectrum conditions: the perspective of clinicians working across three jurisdictions
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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OriginalversjonPsychiatry, Psychology and Law. 2021, . 10.1080/13218719.2021.1976297
The treatment of vulnerable defendants by criminal justice systems or correctional systems varies within and between countries. The purpose of this paper is to examine three legal jurisdictions – New South Wales in Australia; Norway; England and Wales – to understand the extent of variation in practice within the court systems for defendants with intellectual disabilities (ID) and/or autism spectrum conditions (ASC). Two of the jurisdictions had a process for screening in place, either in police custody or at court, but this was not universally implemented across each jurisdiction. All three jurisdictions had a process for supporting vulnerable defendants through the legal system. Across the three jurisdictions, there was variation in disposal options from a mandatory care setting to hospital treatment to a custodial sentence for serious offences. This variation requires further international exploration to ensure the rights of defendants with ID or ASC are understood and safeguarded.