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PCC welcomes review into how justice system treats people with autism and other conditions

The Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner has welcomed a Government review looking into the experiences of people with conditions such as autism across the criminal justice system.

HM Inspectorate of Prisons and HM Inspectorate of Probation are carrying out a review of people with neurodiverse needs, such as those with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), dyslexia or speech and communication difficulties.

The review, covering the whole system from someone’s first contact with the police, through court, prison and probation, was commissioned by the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) as part of their commitment that everyone who encounters the criminal justice system is dealt with fairly.

Martyn Underhill, Police and Crime Commissioner for Dorset, says he has welcomes the review and is urging people to share their experiences and suggest ways the system can be improved by taking part in a national call for evidence.

Findings will help the MoJ develop policies to improve awareness of these conditions, give staff the confidence to support them and help provide better access to rehabilitation services to reduce rehabilitation.

A national call for evidence is now taking place, asking for information from members of the public and charities. Those working in organisations across the criminal justice system are also being asked for information about issues such as adjustments that have made to support people with neurodiverse conditions and what training and support have been received by staff.

Martyn Underhill, Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner, said: “I welcome this review and the fact this issue is now being taken seriously by Government, and I’d like to ask anyone who has experienced these issues locally to take part in the call for evidence.

“However, this is long overdue and I am aware of cases in which people with these conditions have struggled in their dealings with the law and sadly fallen through the cracks.

“Some great strides have been made recently in the criminal justice system locally, particularly in terms of the numbers of Dorset Police officers and staff who have received relevant training. However, there is a huge amount of work to be done here and across the country and I look forward to seeing the findings of this review.”

The call for evidence closes on 15 January and anyone interested in submitting information should go here for more information.

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