Defendants with intellectual disability and autism spectrum conditions: the perspective of clinicians working across three jurisdictions

Jane McCarthy, Eddie Chaplin, Susan Hayes, Erik Søndenaa, Verity Chester, Catrin Morrissey, Clare S. Allely, Andrew Forrester

Region:
SIFER Midt
Type:
Vitenskapelig artikkel
Publisert:
Psychiatry, Psychology and Law, 2021
Online / DOI:
https://doi.org/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.