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Neurodisability and the Criminal Justice System

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Neurodisability and the Criminal Justice System

Comparative and Therapeutic Responses

9781789907629 Edward Elgar Publishing
Edited by Gaye T. Lansdell, PhD, Associate Professor, Faculty of Law, Bernadette J. Saunders, PhD, Adjunct Senior Lecturer and Researcher, Department of Social Work, Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences and Anna Eriksson, PhD, Associate Professor of Criminology, School of Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Monash University, Australia
Publication Date: September 2021 ISBN: 978 1 78990 762 9 Extent: c 256 pp
This thought-provoking book highlights the increasing recognition of the prevalence of neurodisability within criminal justice systems, discussing conditions including intellectual, cognitive and behavioural impairments, fetal alcohol spectrum disorders and traumatic and acquired brain injury. International scholars and practitioners demonstrate the extent and complexity of the neurodisability experience and present practical solutions for criminal justice reform.

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Critical Acclaim
Contributors
Contents
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This thought-provoking book highlights the increasing recognition of the prevalence of neurodisability within criminal justice systems, discussing conditions including intellectual, cognitive and behavioural impairments, fetal alcohol spectrum disorders and traumatic and acquired brain injury. International scholars and practitioners demonstrate the extent and complexity of the neurodisability experience and present practical solutions for criminal justice reform.

Examining the growing body of evidence which illustrates the significant over-representation of neurodisability amongst prison and juvenile justice populations, this critical book explores the challenges faced by people with a neurodisability who come into contact with the justice system. These challenges include: difficulty understanding interactions with police, navigating court processes, comprehending sentencing orders, and coping with prison and post-release life, which can lead to repeat victimisation and criminalisation. Overall, this book establishes that justice systems are often unable to meet the specific needs of people with a neurodisability and that there is a significant lack of appropriate support within the community aimed at prevention and diversion.

Providing broad interdisciplinary insights, this timely book will prove a vital resource for scholars and students of criminal law, law and society, criminology, neuroscience and social work. It will also be of value to legal practitioners, law enforcement, prison employees and welfare professionals engaged with individuals with a neurodisability.
Critical Acclaim
‘The overrepresentation of adults and children with neurodisability in our criminal justice systems is an issue that is both hidden and in plain sight. This book shines a light into all the crevices of this issue and points to pathways out of the darkness. It will resonate with anyone with professional involvement in the justice system.’
– Dr Shelley Turner, Chief Social Worker, Forensicare, Australia

‘Neurodisability may profoundly impact upon behaviour and cognition but remains invisible or misunderstood in many legal contexts. This volume is an essential resource for lawyers who represent people with neurodisability, advocates and judges. With rich, interdisciplinary research from international experts, the book addresses access to justice for people with conditions such as acquired brain injury, fetal alcohol syndrome and autism. The authors integrate recent insights on neurodisability with analysis of international legal developments to provide vital, concrete guidance for optimum advocacy. Many, many people and their advocates will benefit from this superb resource.’
– Professor Kate Diesfeld JD, Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand

‘Neurodisability and the Criminal Justice System is a worthwhile book that will be very helpful to those who are working in the court system with cases that involve these difficult issues. The chapter authors are first rate and diverse giving a global perspective. It is the first book that should be consulted on the subject.’
– Judge Eugene M. Hyman, Superior Court of California, US, Retired
Contributors
Contributors include: Rebecca Bunn, Prathiba Chitsabesan, Anna Eriksson, Sharynne Hamilton, Kathryn Hollingsworth, Nathan Hughes, Hope Kent, Shauneen Lamb, Gaye Lansdell, Hayley Passmore, Amanda C. Pustilnik, Bernadette Saunders, Leigh Schrieff, Frances Sheahan, Pauline Spencer, James Tonks, Penelope Weller, Huw Williams, Joseph Wszalek
Contents
Contents:

Foreword xi

PART I UNDERSTANDING AND RESPONDING TO
NEURODISABILITY
1 Neurodisability and the criminal justice system: a problem
in search of a solution 3
Gaye Lansdell, Bernadette Saunders, Anna Eriksson
2 Neurodisability: A criminal law doctrine that is not pure insanity 14
Amanda Pustilnik
3 A public law model for cognitive-communication risk 34
Joe Wszalek
4 Access to justice and the Convention on the Rights of
Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) – an Australian perspective 51
Penelope Weller

PART II NEEDS OF YOUNG PEOPLE WITH NEURODISABILITY
5 Dismantling barriers to justice for children affected by
neurodisability 73
Frances Sheahan, Nathan Hughes, Huw Williams,
Prathiba Chitsabesan
6 Neurodisability and trauma in children and young people
in contact with the law 92
Huw Williams, Leigh Schrieff, Nathan Hughes, James
Tonks, Prathiba Chitsabesan, Hope Kent
7 Protecting vulnerable child defendants in England and
Wales: a house of cards? 111
Shauneen Lambe and Kathryn Hollingsworth
8 Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder and the criminal justice system 136
Hayley Passmore and Sharynne Hamilton

PART III RESPONSES TO NEURODISABILITY
WITHIN THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM
9 What do lawyers really know about neurodisability?
Confusion, obfuscation and dereliction of duty 154
Gaye Lansdell, Bernadette Saunders, Anna Eriksson, Rebecca Bunn
10 Towards dignity: better court pathways for people with
lived experience of acquired brain injury 177
Magistrate Pauline Spencer
11 Neurodisability and the ‘revolving’ prison door: an
international problem viewed through an Australian lens 196
Anna Eriksson, Bernadette Saunders, Gaye Lansdell
12 An interdisciplinary call for action 214
Bernadette Saunders, Anna Eriksson, Gaye Lansdell

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