The Prevalence of Youth with Autism Spectrum Disorders in the Criminal Justice System
Rent the article at a discountRent now
* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.Get Access
Past surveys have reported high rates of youth with disabilities in the juvenile justice system, however, little research has examined the frequency with which youth with Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are in contact with law enforcement. Using records linkage with the Department of Juvenile Justice and the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division and the South Carolina Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Program (SC ADDM), this study compares the frequency, type, and outcome of criminal charges for youth with ASD and non-ASD youth. Youth with ASD had higher rates of crimes against persons and lower rates of crimes against property. Youth with ASD were more likely to be diverted into pre-trial interventions and less likely to be prosecuted than comparison youth. When compared to the overall SC ADDM sample, charged youth were less likely to have comorbid intellectual disability.
- American Psychiatric Association. (2000). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (Revised 4th edn.). Washington, DC: Author.
- Brookman-Frazee, L., Baker-Ericzén, M., Stahmer, A., Mandell, D., Haine, R. A., & Hough, R. L. (2009). Involvement of youths with autism spectrum disorders or intellectual disabilities in multiple public service systems. Journal of Mental Health Research, 2, 201–219.
- Mayes, T. (2003). Persons with autism and criminal justice. Journal of Positive Behavior Intervention, 5, 92–100. CrossRef
- O’Hearn, K., Asato, M., Ordaz, S., & Luna, B. (2008). Neurodevelopment and executive function in autism. Developmental and Psychopathology, 20, 1103–1132. CrossRef
- Quinn, M. M., Rutherford, R. B., Leone, P. E., Osher, D. M., & Poirier, J. M. (2005). Youth with disabilities in juvenile corrections: A national survey. Exceptional Children, 71, 339–345.
- Siponmaa, L., Kristiansson, M., Jonson, C., Nydén, A., & Gillberg, C. (2001). Juvenile and young adult mentally disordered offenders: The role of child neuropsychiatric disorders. The Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law, 29, 420–426.
- Teplin, L. A., Abram, K. M., McClelland, G. M., Dulcan, M. K., & Mericle, A. A. (2002). Psychiatric disorders in youth in juvenile detention. Archives of General Psychiatry, 59, 1133–1143. CrossRef
- Van Naardem Braun, K., Pettygrove, S., Daniels, J., Miller, L., Nicholas, J., Baio, J., et al. (2007). Evaluation of a methodology for a collaborative multiple source surveillance network for autism spectrum disorders—Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network, 14 sites, United States, 2002. Morbidity & Mortality Weekly Report. Surveillance Summaries, 56, 29–40.
- Van Roekel, E., Scholte, R. H. J., & Didden, R. (2010). Bullying among adolescents with autism spectrum disorders: Prevalence and perception. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 40, 63–73. CrossRef
- Vermeiren, R., Jespers, I., & Moffit, T. (2006). Mental health problems in juvenile justice populations. Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Clinics of North America, 15, 333–351. CrossRef
- Woodbury-Smith, M. R., Clare, I. C. H., Holland, A. J., & Kearns, A. (2006). High functioning autistic spectrum disorders, offending and other law-breaking: Findings from a community sample. The Journal of Forensic Psychiatry & Psychology, 17, 108–120. CrossRef
- Woodbury-Smith, M. R., Clare, I. C. H., Holland, A. J., Kearns, A., Staufenberg, E., & Watson, P. (2005). A case–control study of offenders with high functioning autism spectrum disorders. The Journal of Forensic Psychiatry & Psychology, 16, 747–763. CrossRef
- The Prevalence of Youth with Autism Spectrum Disorders in the Criminal Justice System
Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Volume 42, Issue 9 , pp 1856-1862
- Cover Date
- Print ISSN
- Online ISSN
- Springer US
- Additional Links
- Autism spectrum disorders
- Juvenile justice
- Industry Sectors
- Author Affiliations
- 1. Medical University of South Carolina, 135 Rutledge Avenue, MSC 567, Charleston, SC, 29425, USA
- 2. Family Services Research Center, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC, USA