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Autism and the Justice System Infographic


The ASERT collaborative, led by the Eastern Region, conducted a survey of justice system professionals to determine their current autism knowledge and discern their training needs and priorities. This infographic provides a quick overview of the results of that survey.

Justice scales and a gavel.The survey consisted of 365 respondents to the Statewide Autism Survey for Justice System Professionals. The largest portion of respondents (62%) was from adult or juvenile probation officers.

How often do justice system professionals come in contact with autism?

  • 10% of justice system professionals report having contact with an individual with an autism diagnosis.
  • 58% of those professionals reported having support available. In comparison to other disability groups, respondents reported there are the least amount of resources to support individuals with autism.

Who is being trained?

    • 73% did not receive autism-specific training
    • 27% had received some form of autism-specific training

Training topics requested (in order from most to least requested)

    • How to communicate with individuals with autism
    • How to navigate challenging behaviors related to autism
    • Systems and services available to individuals with autism
    • Broad training on the core deficits of autism
    • Identifying autism in adolescence
    • How to interact with parents/caregivers of  individuals with autism
    • Substance abuse in individuals with autism
    • How to navigate dual diagnoses of autism and another disability
    • Medications and autism
    • Adults with autism
    • Other

Continuing Support

Over three quarters (76%) of respondents reported that they would like to have ongoing support services and clinical/technical assistance in addition to the training. Preferred methods for continued support and training included:

    • In-person support (40%)
    • Website modules (37%)
    • Email support (46%)
    • Telephone line (38%)
    • Other (2%)

The Statewide Autism Survey for Justice Professionals yielded a tremendous amount of information that will be used to drive training prioritization, topic areas, and format. The ASERT Collaborative will continually engage with justice system professionals to hone in on training area needs specific to autism to assure that the trainings are data-driven, clinically sound, and practically applicable.

Free trainings with catered information by justice system role and county are available upon request. Please contact ASERT@drexel.edu for more information.

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This information was developed by the Autism Services, Education, Resources, and Training Collaborative (ASERT). For more information, please contact ASERT at 877-231-4244 or info@PAautism.org. ASERT is funded by the Bureau of Supports for Autism and Special Populations, PA Department of Human Services.