On Thursday 13 December 2018 we hosted our conference: ‘Rough Justice? How is the justice system serving autistic people?’; held at the spectacular Church House Conference Centre, Westminster.
We were delighted to welcome friends and colleagues from all over the world representing all areas of justice and autism, including several autistic delegates.
The conference was opened by the Baroness Browning with a plea for more understanding of the specific circumstances of autistic people at all points of the justice system.
We then heard from a range of expert speakers with experience and expertise across the justice system including the law, law enforcement, charity, health, academia, and from autistic people and their families. The Chair, Richard Mills highlighted how despite increased awareness of autism, autistic people were over-represented in the justice system as victims of crime, witnesses and suspects and how the system was often failing them. Awareness alone is not enough but reasonable adjustment has been shown to make a difference. He emphasised the importance of language and narrative when discussing this sensitive topic to draw attention to the need for more effective action, whilst avoiding stigmatising autistic people.
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