Article: Criminal justice system interactions among young adults with and without autism: A national birth cohort study in New Zealand
Criminal justice system interactions among young adults with and without autism: A national birth cohort study in New Zealand
Publication date: December 2021
Authors: Nicholas Bowden, Barry Milne, Richard Audas, Betony Clasby, Joanne Dacombe, Warren Forster, Jesse Kokaua, Sheree Gibb, Nathan Hughes, Conrad MacCormick, Kirsten Smiler, Barry Taylor and Brigit Mirfin-Veitch
This article summarises findings from research that examined the prevalence of criminal justice system interactions among young adults with and without autism to determine whether offence types differ between these groups. Using linked health and criminal justice system data, the team found that young people with autism interacted with the criminal justice system at lower rates compared to those without autism. However, there were considerable differences in the types of offences these young people were charged with. The team concluded that although young people with autism are not over-represented in the criminal justice system in Aotearoa New Zealand, disparities in offence types and incarceration rates among people charged with an offence suggest it is important to identify and provide appropriate responses to people with autism in the criminal justice system.
The research was co-funded with the New Zealand Law Foundation.
Also listen to the RNZ interview with researchers Nick Bowden and co-researcher Joanne Dacombe – Study raises questions over autism and criminal justice system and see the Stuff article Autistic young adults are less likely to be charged with crimes, but those charged face tougher penalties – NZ study.