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Autism, sexual offending, and the criminal justice system

Autism, sexual offending, and the criminal justice system PurposeThere has been growing concern among stakeholders about individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and sex offending as research supports an indirect association. The purpose of this paper is threefold: first, bring more awareness of the sexuality and deviant/criminal sexual behavior among those with ASD to stakeholders in the criminal justice system (CJS); second, demonstrate that much of the deviant or sexual offending behavior exhibited among those with ASD is often a manifestation of their ASD symptoms and not malice; and third, demonstrate the necessity to address specific needs of individuals with ASD who enter the CJS due to criminal sexual behavior.Design/methodology/approachThis paper provides an overview of the ASD symptomology, including the diagnostic changes, a review of the literature on ASD and sexuality, which includes deviant sexual behavior and sexual offending.FindingsThe author linked examples of deviant or sexual behavior in the research literature to the ASD symptomology and described how the symptomology explains such behavior.Originality/valueSexual offending among those with ASD has received little research outside the mental health field. This review is of particular importance to those in the CJS unfamiliar with ASD, as they should handle them differently with regard to formal interviewing, measures of competency, capacity, and sentencing. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Intellectual Disabilities and Offending Behaviour Emerald Publishing

Autism, sexual offending, and the criminal justice system

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © Emerald Group Publishing Limited
ISSN
2050-8824
DOI
10.1108/JIDOB-02-2016-0004
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

PurposeThere has been growing concern among stakeholders about individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and sex offending as research supports an indirect association. The purpose of this paper is threefold: first, bring more awareness of the sexuality and deviant/criminal sexual behavior among those with ASD to stakeholders in the criminal justice system (CJS); second, demonstrate that much of the deviant or sexual offending behavior exhibited among those with ASD is often a manifestation of their ASD symptoms and not malice; and third, demonstrate the necessity to address specific needs of individuals with ASD who enter the CJS due to criminal sexual behavior.Design/methodology/approachThis paper provides an overview of the ASD symptomology, including the diagnostic changes, a review of the literature on ASD and sexuality, which includes deviant sexual behavior and sexual offending.FindingsThe author linked examples of deviant or sexual behavior in the research literature to the ASD symptomology and described how the symptomology explains such behavior.Originality/valueSexual offending among those with ASD has received little research outside the mental health field. This review is of particular importance to those in the CJS unfamiliar with ASD, as they should handle them differently with regard to formal interviewing, measures of competency, capacity, and sentencing.

Journal

Journal of Intellectual Disabilities and Offending BehaviourEmerald Publishing

Published: Sep 12, 2016

References