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NCJ Number: 227799 Find in a Library
Title: Autism in the Criminal Justice Detention System: A Review of the Literature
Journal: Journal of Forensic Nursing  Volume:5  Issue:2  Dated:2009  Pages:70-75
Author(s): Andrew Cashin R.N., Ph.D.; Claire Newman R.N.
Date Published: 2009
Page Count: 6
Type: Literature Review
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This literature review explored the relationship between autism and criminality and the experience of offenders with autism within the criminal justice detention system, with attention to research conducted in Australia.
Abstract: Autism is diagnosed and rated based on a triad of impairment in communication, social skills, and behavioral flexibility. There is a less-than-typical style of cognitive processing evident in an inability to form a unified, centrally coherent base of knowledge about the world and a marked deficit in empathy. The inability to perceive the distress cues of others and manage one's behavior accordingly can result in antisocial behavior that has adverse and possibly law-breaking effects on others. Although studies that have examined the prevalence of autism in the offender population are limited, estimates are that the prevalence rate of autism is much higher in the offender population than in the general population. Nurses working in custodial facilities should have an awareness of the potential overrepresentation and under-diagnosis of individuals with autism in offender populations. Knowledge of the triad of impairment enhances nursing capabilities in communicating and interacting with an individual with autism. Additional research is required in order to increase understanding of the experiences of people with autism in custody. The results of such research should promote the development and accessibility of sufficient and effective support and protective systems, as well as the developing of suitable screening instruments for the diagnosis and referral of offenders with autism who enter the detention system. 24 references
Main Term(s): Criminology
Index Term(s): Australia; Biological influences; Detention; Foreign criminal justice research; Inmate health care; Neurological disorders
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