Welcome to Autism In The CJS ⚖️

Helping the autistic community to have a voice in the criminal justice system in England and Wales.

About Us

Autism in the CJS is a project run by volunteers at Conviction. Our new online community platform aims to bring people and organisations together from different areas of the criminal justice system in an attempt to promote good practice, enforce real change and encourage collaboration through communication.

This service is run for and by you. There are separate private spaces for autistic people, their family and friends and also a professionals hub for those who may not wish to engage with others, or are unable due to their vetting and/or work. 

We have no issues with people signing up and engaging with the community with an anonymous or pseudonym profile - however, we have the right to request further information (in confidence and in accordance with our Privacy Policy) should we have concerns about the content any user is posting or we wish to verify a professionals status.)

Mission

Our mission is to improve criminal justice services for autistic adults by ensuring they receive the appropriate care, treatment and support within the Criminal Justice System in England and Wales.

Objectives

  • From our surveys, we will gather information from those who have been involved with the Criminal Justice System and have an active diagnosis or interest in Autism and the Criminal Justice System. 
  • Use the information gathered to put forward policy changes in an attempt to promote real change within the Criminal Justice System and a offer a format for people to have a voice about the things that really matter to them. 
  • To provide clear guidelines on supporting autistic adults within the Criminal Justice System through the use of sharing of both good and bad practice, sharing real-life experiences in a safe environment, and opening up dialogue amongst professionals, autistic people, and their families. 
  • Use case studies to better understand autistic peoples experiences in the Criminal Justice System and work in collaboration with academic and charitable communities to work as a collective on areas of mutual concern and/or interest. 
  • Highlight support services for autistic offenders and their families, including the good use of Freedom of Information legislation, data protection legislation, and a robust campaign for change. 

Desired Outcomes

  • To work in collaboration with local and national criminal justice departments and organisations to inform policy changes within the Criminal Justice System.  
  • Improve mental and physical health services offered to autistic people who are involved in the criminal justice system through collaboration and good working relationships with Her Majesty's Prison and Probation Service, Ministry of Justice, Home Office and other relevant bodies. 
  • Improving support services for family members of those who have a loved one who is involved with the Criminal Justice System through the use of lived experience workshops, online resources, and an online community where people can access help, when needed, from people who have been or are going through similar experiences.  
  • Increase awareness of challenges faced by autistic offenders within the Criminal Justice System.

Meet the Team

Ryan Jarvis is the Founder and Project Manager for the Autism in the CJS community. Ryan has built our new community and is the go-to person whenever there is an issue with the technology side of things.

Rachael Smith acts as one of our valued Policy volunteers and has completed a lot of research and work to assist with the formation of the Autism in the CJS community.


Katie Schwarzmann also helps out with the community and has recently written a blog article on Appropriate Adults and detained persons rights when in police custody.


Shirley McNaught who is a member of the board for Conviction also supports the community in the form of working with local and national community groups, with a particular focus on making the Criminal Justice System better for autistic women who come from a BAME background.

Contact Us

The Autism in the CJS community is run by a small team of dedicated volunteers from the Conviction Team. We do not work regular hours, however always aim to have someone available each day to check in on messages and other correspondence.


Our usual working hours are Monday to Friday between the hours of 10 am to 1 pm and 2 pm and 5 pm. (Some of our volunteers, and in particular, our founder often works late at night and sometimes at the weekend, so you may see activity at some strange hours on the platform.


Please feel free to get in touch with us on any of the following contact details


Telephone

0161 528 1587


Email

[email protected]


Post

Autism in the CJS, PO Box 428, Manchester, M8 2FS


Please note that if you are seeking casework support or an independent advocate, referrals must be made through the Conviction website in that Autism in the CJS does not provide such services.

A Big Thanks

We would like to extend a big thank you to all our supporters and partners who have provided ongoing support, advice and guidance whilst taking on this big challenge.

A particular thank you to Shropshire Autonomy, the National Autistic Society Community, National Police Autism Association Members and representatives from the Ministry of Justice and Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Prisons who have engaged with us and invited us to take part in their Neurodiversity in the Criminal Justice Review.

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