Caught in the Web of the Criminal Justice System: Autism, DevelopmentalISBN: 9781785927133
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Increasing numbers of people with autism and other developmental disabilities are being convicted of sex offences, resulting in draconian and public punishment. Yet even when evidence shows that people with these conditions often pose little threat to society, or lack a core understanding as to why their actions break the law, the "sex offender legal regime" doesn't allow any room to take the disability into account.
This ground-breaking book offers a multi-disciplinary examination of how unjust sex offense laws even trap vulnerable groups such as those developmental disabilities. Drawing on research, empirical evidence and including case studies, experts from the fields of law, ethics, psychology and sociology explore what steps should be taken in order to ensure that laws are just and take into consideration factors such as the vulnerability of the perpetrators. Investigating the consequences caused by public hysteria over sex offenses, this book highlights the judicial failure to protect defendants with developmental disabilities in the context of the unjust and hyper-punishment of all those charged with sex offenses. Proposing a new way forward based on research and evidence-based sentencing for sex offenses, and elimination of the sex offender registry, this book offers an informed and compassionate view that is essential for all professionals working in this field.