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Autistic adults and their experiences with police personnel: a qualitative inquiry

Carlton, S. and Hall, G. (2021) Autistic adults and their experiences with police personnel: a qualitative inquiry. Psychiatry, Psychology and Law .

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This study uses a qualitative methodological approach to investigate the experiences that autistic adults have when encountering police personnel. An anonymous, online, semi-structured survey asking open-ended questions about individual experience was used, and the data were analysed thematically. Although only five participants comprised the final sample, the findings illustrate how – despite differences in types of interaction and police contact – similar experiences were reported. Almost all participants reported experiencing a negative interaction with police, coupled with a limited understanding of the events surrounding their encounter. Four participants experienced some form of being stopped and questioned. This study aims to examine alternative perspectives, as previous research has focused on criminal justice personnel perspectives rather than autistic perspectives. This is one of a few qualitative Australian studies to seek individualised experiences from a community-based sample. Sampling and recruitment strategies need revision to attain a larger number of surveys in future research.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): College of Arts, Business, Law and Social Sciences
Publisher: Routledge
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