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Autism and the Criminal Justice System: Current Research and Future Directions

Autism and the Criminal Justice System: Current Research and Future Directions

12-13 September 2018, New Adelphi Building, the University of Salford

Confirmed Keynote Speakers:

Dr Nick Dubin and Professor Larry Dubin (Professor of Law).

Nick Dubin was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome in 2004. He holds a Bachelor's Degree in Communications from Oakland University, a Master's Degree in Learning Disabilities from the University of Detroit Mercy, and a Specialist Degree in Psychology and Psy.D. from the Michigan School of Professional Psychology. He has authored many books on autism spectrum disorders.

Lawrence A. Dubin is a Law Professor at the University of Detroit Mercy Law, specialising in legal ethics and litigation.

Professor Penny Cooper (Barrister and Professor of Law); Dr Michelle Mattison (Intermediary and Lecturer in Psychology, University of Chester); Dr Katie Maras (Centre for Applied Autism Research, University of Bath); Dr Zainab Al-attar (Chartered and Registered Forensic Psychologist); Dr David Murphy (Consultant. Clinical Neuropsychologist, Broadmoor Hospital); Chris Hilliard (Project Consultant and Service User).

The theme of the 2018 conference is autism in the criminal justice system - a 'whole system approach' to the study of autism within this context. There is a growing recognition of ASD within the criminal justice system. There is increased recognition that the ability to negotiate the criminal justice process may be particularly complex and difficult for individuals with ASD. This can be exacerbated by the hidden nature of their impairments in that  their relatively good verbal abilities may mask their underlying socio-communicative impairments.Therefore, when being interviewed by police or while being questioned during court proceedings, vulnerabilities in adults are not always identified.  

Additionally, Mayes (2003) and Freckelton (2012; 2013) argue that some autism traits almost certainly impact on a individual’s fitness to plead, their culpability, their criminal responsibility and also their ability to cope with custodial disposals. Nevertheless, not all Courts take into consideration expert witnesses’ statements regarding the impairments faced by their clients with ASD. Lastly, studies indicate that in the prison environment, individuals with ASD are more vulnerable to bullying and social isolation. However, very few studies to date have investigated this and there has been no empirical investigation, only case reports involving very small samples investigated primarily using questionnaires and/or observation (Allely, 2015).

Key dates

Call for Abstracts - Monday 5th March 2018

Deadline for Abstract Submission – Friday 15th June 2018

Notification of Acceptance – Monday 2nd July 2018

Early Bird Registration Ends – Friday 20th July 2018

Conference fee

You can book your conference with the early bird (EB) rate now:

Option Early Bird Fee Standard Fee
Standard £250 £275
Student £135 £150
Charity £90 £100
Single Day £135 £150

The Early Bird offer expires on 20 July 2018.

Book your place now

If you have any queries regarding conference registration, please e-mail

Car parking

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Cancellation policy

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