Autism Spectrum Disorder in Prison

Originally Published on May 6th, 2024 at 08:00 am
Table of Contents
Implications for Mitigation
Implications for Aggravation


As I have written previously, we are seeing more individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder in criminal cases. Research and assessment for individuals with ASD is lagging behind this increase.


This study, published in 2023 in the Revista Espanola de Sanidad Penitenciaria, specifically looked at ASD in the prison system via a systematic review of 14 peer reviewed scientific articles published in journals.

Findings of the Study on Autism Spectrum Disorder in Prison

Analyzing the articles revealed that many inmates diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder also present with self-harm. They also exhibit higher rates of disruptive behavior in jail.  There are currently no assessment tools validated with ASD individuals to assess a predisposition for violent or disruptive behavior. Whether that behavior is directed internally or externally.

The subjective experiences of the ASD inmates can be well summarized here:

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