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Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 47, Issue 2, pp 340–346 | Cite as

The Prevalence and Correlates of Involvement in the Criminal Justice System Among Youth on the Autism Spectrum

  • Julianna RavaEmail author
  • Paul Shattuck
  • Jessica Rast
  • Anne Roux
Original Paper

Abstract

This study examined the prevalence and correlates of involvement in the criminal justice system among a nationally representative sample of youth with autism. We examined whether youth had been stopped and questioned by police or arrested at 14–15 years old and 21–22 years old. By age 21, approximately 20% of youth with autism had been stopped and questioned by police and nearly 5% had been arrested. Female youth were less likely to be involved in the criminal justice system, whereas youth displaying externalizing behaviors were more likely to be involved in the criminal justice system. Further research is needed to investigate factors associated with involvement in the criminal justice system among youth with autism and to implement prevention strategies.

Keywords

Autism Autism spectrum disorder Transition-age youth Criminal justice involvement Risk factors Prevalence 

Notes

Author Contributions

JAR conceived of the study, participated in its design and coordination, performed statistical analysis and interpretation of the data, and drafted the manuscript; PS conceived the study, participated in the design and coordination of the data, and helped draft the manuscript; JER participated in the design of the study, performed statistical analysis and helped draft the manuscript; AR participated in the design and coordination of the study and helped to draft the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Funding

This study did not receive funding.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

Julianna Rava declares that she has no conflict of interest. Paul Shattuck declares that he has no conflict of interest. Jessica Rast declares that she has no conflict of interest. Anne Roux declares that she has no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.A.J. Drexel Autism InstitutePhiladelphiaUSA

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