The Disability Royal Commission has heard about the poor experiences and overrepresentation of people with cognitive disability, including autism, across the criminal justice system (including police, courts and prison). It has heard about failures to identify people’s disabilities and provide necessary supports and adjustments. It has heard about the lack of adequate disability training for police, court and prison professionals and staff. It has also heard about the lack of diversion programs and appropriate therapeutic settings for Autistic people.
It has heard from:
For more information, please see the Commission’s Interim Report and transcripts from Public Hearing 15, Public Hearing 11 and Public Hearing 27.
The Disability Royal Commission has also been informed by a Research Report on ‘Police responses to people with disability’. This report was commissioned and funded by the Disability Royal Commission, and produced by independent researchers at the University of NSW. It highlights the over representation of people with cognitive disability engaging with police and the causes of offending or perceived offending. It also highlights the need for wide ranging reforms to ensure people with cognitive disability, including autism, are identified when engaging with police, are supported by independent skilled advocates and have access to appropriate diversion programs and community-based supports.
Amaze has made a submission to the Disability Royal Commission to highlight the reforms needed to improve the criminal justice system for Autistic people.
The Disability Royal Commission has raised concerns about the lack to data to demonstrate the true numbers of people with disability engaging with the criminal justice system. It is committed to further inquiries into how the system can be improved for all people with disability, including Autistic people.
We will update this page when the Disability Royal Commission makes findings and recommendations that impact the engagement of Autistic people with the criminal justice system.