I am totally prepared to start a campaign if there is not one to support ASD Adults going to court on criminal convictions. There are NO specialist solicitors. The Police are dreadful not trained completely for ASD. The courts need to improve advocate support inside then just a solicitor alone then generally get guilty pleas instead of looking at the whole. ASD sadly do not always have a voice and always go along with solicitors bad advice. I would like to see solicitors and courts support cases where ASD and social isolation to be taken seriously in any charges and always seek reports as protocol when is known ASD person is before the courts. Can anyone help me know how to improve the system where guilty pleas are forced then the truth and innocence is lost due to ASD going along with early guilty pleas when innocent to criminal convictions then the entire?
The Courts, Tribunals and legal advocates do already have access to this guidance:
I personally think the guidance is very good, but that the issue arises more in regard to it actually being implemented during cases.
My biggest concern are police interrogation procedures that attempt to wrongfoot the suspect and put words into their mouth. The police have also been known to fabricate evidence in order to increase the likelihood of a guilty plea.
There has been much concern how the police use cautions to dispose of minor offences without properly explaining how they are retained on the PNC for DBS checks.
Even the payment of a fine at a court (for an offence as trivial as dropping litter) will invalidate a home or car insurance policy and will ramp up premiums when taking out a policy in the future.
Thanks for the link. I know people who have looked for specialist solicitors for adults with ASD and learning disabilities training of care act ....to find none available in the local areas. Perhaps it's poor duty of care by the solicitors, where the courts do not acknowledge ASD due to this? Arresting officers were informed, but covered and lied in reports to CPS. Had complained to IPCC, who came back with a report more putting down defendant and family, then actually investigating the lack of duty of care. ASD and learning disabilities are easy pickings by the looks of things sadly. We have Asperger's Adults pleading guilty to things without support! Early guilty pleas are drummed into all on posters in the courts, then support posters. This encouraging early guilty pleas are not a fair trial. Mitigation seems thrown out of the window and not spoke about because of this. Unfair when this happens. Where are the specialist solicitors? They are needed.
Yes I witnessed an arrested to ASD, it was disgusting. These officers got their reaction they wanted, and lied to the IPCC after complaint where it got nowhere. We will not give up on adults with ASD, learning needs. Complaint procedures to the police have got slightly better, not sure on outcomes. Yet to see that. Public still stigmatize ASD and learning on crimes when it's 50/50
I see where you are coming from suggesting specialist solicitors, but frankly you can’t expect to have a specialist solicitor for every disability and therefore would that be fair for all?
All solicitors and Courts are already bound by the Equality Act, so they do have to make reasonable adjustments for your disability. Solicitors usually only do so if you ask for them though or if you make it clear that something is causing you difficulties due to your disability. Courts/Tribunals are supposed to be informed in advance of hearings of any disability and the adjustments that will be required for it.
I suppose though, if the solicitor had not highlighted the issue to the Court, then there is no reason why the disabled person themselves can’t do so, particularly when speaking to the clerks before the hearing. Either way, if you walked in and told the Judge you had a certain disability and it was being ignored in regards to the conduct of the matter then I’m sure the Judge would have to do something about (again due the the Equality Act).
Perhaps, rather than having specialist solicitors (due to practicalities as above), we should ensure that individuals with ASD are aware of guidance such as that I linked to and that they have the opportunity/ability to interject such guidance onto those conducting the proceedings at any relevant time. I suppose you would have to provide medical evidence of your ASD in such circumstances though, just to make sure that anyone couldn’t demand such adjustments.
I am all for you if want to start a campaign. I have been a defence witness in court and just not able to speak. It was just to much. I wanted to talk but was not able to and do put this down to me having Autism.Autism is complex issue. Autism is not get out jail free card.Autism can be a mitigating issue.
The mitigation has been dreadful. It appears to me that it no longer counts when solicitors bully for an early guilty plea. ASD, learning disabilities, confirm to the plead of guilt so easily then most. I've even been kicked out of a room by solicitor who did not get I was the carer and support. I was bullied out of the interview room but defendant could not support me to stay, they could not think quick enough too, so left. It's like mitigation never gets a say and guilt pleas are more important. If the public knew the mitigation it would would help the public see through behaviours and the vulnerability of the defendant. The court press have been brutal everytime without knowing the true facts. Totally sick and tired of the whole situation now. We need a campaign to get these solicitors educated on ASD and these tool kits not clearly used and the solicitor said was unqualified in the second experience. I would like to see the Autistic society do more for ASD to get better support in legal advice and carers to be treated better, parents too.
We now have a prison sentence risk. What happens to people with ASD in prison? Why do probation units still not trained nor take ASD seriously?
I'm in need to make a campaign. But how? Tool kits are there, why are they not used? Can we send them to solicitors to get them up to being fair in communication with ASD?
I've tried my best to get the police to rewrite orders for ASD people to understand them... It's a small step.
Well. I have am Dyslexic and recently referred for ASD diagnosis. But I also studied Law and did the Academic training to be Barrister. I was even Called to the Bar.
After 10 years though I still haven’t got the apprenticeship to finish off the training. I am still stacking shelves.
There are many things that need changing about the system.
There is a good argument to have a seperate Court System for those with all Mental Health difficulties.
But I don’t think there is the money/resources for that, and autism isn’t a mental health problem anyway.
I agree that changes need to occur, but I’m unsure that they ever will.