In The Politics of Autism, I discuss interactions between first responders and autistic people. Police officers need training to respond appropriately. When they do not, things get out of hand.
Julianna Rava, Paul Shattuck,Jessica Rast, and Anne Roux have an article at the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders titled: "The Prevalence and Correlates of Involvement in the Criminal Justice System Among Youth on the Autism Spectrum."
This study examined the prevalence and correlates of involvement in the criminal justice system among a nationally representative sample of youth with autism. We examined whether youth had been stopped and questioned by police or arrested at 14–15 years old and 21–22 years old. By age 21, approximately 20% of youth with autism had been stopped and questioned by police and nearly 5% had been arrested. Female youth were less likely to be involved in the criminal justice system, whereas youth displaying externalizing behaviors were more likely to be involved in the criminal justice system. Further research is needed to investigate factors associated with involvement in the criminal justice system among youth with autism and to implement prevention strategies.From the article:
To the best of our knowledge, this study is the first in the U.S. to use nationally representative data to examine patterns of prevalence and correlates of involvement in the criminal justice system for transition-age youth on the autism spectrum. ... The arrest rates are consistent with previous research regarding youth on the autism spectrum. While others have speculated that individuals on the autism spectrum who are stopped and questioned by police are less likely to be arrested, as police may recognize characteristics of autism in these youth , it is concerning that one inf ive youth on the autism spectrum are coming into contact with law enforcement oicers. Prior research has solely focused on criminal convictions for this population, and that data has presented rates as high as one in seven adult males on the autism spectrum being involved in the CJS (Mouridsen 2008). Based on our research, we can assume individuals are being stopped and questioned by law enforcement at much higher rates than convictions.