This book focuses on autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in the criminal justice system. Rather than being the perpetrators of offending behaviour, individuals with ASD are more likely to be the victims of crime. However, there is nevertheless a small subset of individuals with ASD who do offend, and this book provides an in-depth understanding of how certain features of ASD may provide the context of vulnerability to engaging in a number of types of offending behaviours.

Chapters focus on arson or fire-setting; cybercrime (e.g., hacking); online sexual offending such as the viewing of indecent child imagery; offline sexual offending; violent crime; stalking; terroristic behaviour (including radicalisation and extremism); bestiality or zoophilia; and also extreme violence such as mass shooting and serial homicide. This book also outlines the ways in which a defendant with ASD may present in court and how they may exhibit behaviour which could be misinterpreted and perceived negatively, leading to an unfair trial. Lastly, it discusses the need to identify the impact that ASD can have on the capacity to form the requisite criminal intent and offers appropriate court adaptions to support individuals with ASD during court proceedings.

This book is ideal for criminal defence lawyers and practitioners in psychology, psychiatry, and social work as well as policy makers and reformers.

chapter Chapter 1|18 pages

What Is Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)?

chapter Chapter 2|18 pages

ASD and Offending Behaviour

Why It Is Important to Recognise How ASD Symptomology Can Provide the Context of Vulnerability for Engaging in Offending and Important Considerations When Interviewed by Police and Other Criminal Justice Professionals

chapter Chapter 3|17 pages

Risk Assessment

ASD and Issues with Current Standardised Risk Assessment

chapter Chapter 4|13 pages

Prevalence of ASD in Forensic Settings

chapter Chapter 5|21 pages

Psychiatric Co-Morbidity in ASD

chapter Chapter 6|32 pages

ASD in the Courtroom

Why It Is Important to Recognise This Disorder in Defendants

chapter Chapter 7|13 pages

ASD and Arson

chapter Chapter 8|33 pages

ASD and Sexual Offences (Offline and Online)

chapter Chapter 9|13 pages

ASD and Cybercrime

chapter Chapter 10|22 pages

ASD and Violent Offending

chapter Chapter 11|21 pages

ASD and Radicalisation and Extremism

chapter Chapter 12|21 pages

ASD and Extreme Violence

chapter Chapter 13|9 pages

ASD and Stalking

chapter Chapter 14|16 pages

ASD in the Prison Environment

chapter Chapter 15|13 pages

Conclusions and Recommendations