Webinar Recording: The Criminal Justice System’s Need for Better Understanding of Clients with Autism Spectrum Disorders

Recorded on December 8, 2021

Hosted by: David Prescott
Guest Speaker: Kim Spence, Ph.D.

Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) continue to become embroiled in tragic and often preventable circumstances necessitating intensive criminal justice involvement. This happens despite the exhaustive efforts of parents, educators, advocates, therapeutic providers, and professionals within the criminal justice system.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 in 45 adults in the United States are identified with ASD based on current estimates from the Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network. This makes ASD one of the most frequently occurring developmental disabilities in the United States. 

While many states now require law enforcement professionals and members of the criminal justice system to receive annual training about ASD, these overviews are often inadequate and frequently fail to assist criminal justice personnel in understanding and supporting clients with ASD. Moreover, there is a significant lack of forensic personnel who understand ASD, leaving those on the spectrum at increased risk of victimization and ineffective rehabilitative programming.

In this webinar with Dr. Spence, a world-renown expert in the treatment and assessment of justice-involved people with autism, we will examine the ways criminal justice systems fall short in ensuring the safety and effective rehabilitation of this vulnerable and challenging population. It’s a much-needed conversation that will shine light on how we can improve outcomes.