Autism Injustice

I can be changed by what happens to me. But I refuse to be reduced by it.

— Maya Angelou


Washing one's hands of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless means to side with the powerful, not to be neutral.  

― Paulo Freire

Autism Injustice


Challenging the Criminalisation of Autistic People


one of the last sanctioned areas of institutionalised discrimination in the UK


 


CONTACT: info@autisminjustice.org



We are a support and campaign group of autistic people and their families/friends,

set up to hold Government and other public bodies accountable

for injustices and abuses against autistic adults and children


The short term aim of our campaign is discussed here.  


       Discrimination, injustices and abuses of police power against autistic people are not

       the result of “a few bad apples”. They result from a systemic culture of indifference,

       and often corruption, that goes to the very top of all parts of the criminal justice

       system; a phenomena recently described in relation to the death of George Floyd as

       “wickedness in high places” (see discussion below).


Our longer term aims are:


That criminal justice and care professionals follow the laws, guidelines and policy that already exists to safeguard autistic people and fully acknowledge neurodiversity.


That these professionals, and society at large, understand neurodiversity so that autistic people's appearance and/or behaviour is not misunderstood and misrepresented in a way that discriminates against them and puts them at risk of serious harm.


READ ALL INDIVIDUAL STORIES HERE—some of whom cannot be identified to protect their anonymity.






















"Until the law is upheld and people [police officers] know they will go to jail, they're going to keep doing this 'cause they're protected by 'wickedness in high places' ".


Rev. Al Sharpton's eulogy for George Floyd, 09/06/2020


       The horrific killing of George Floyd resurfaced very distinct issues of racial hatred, but

       the Rev. Sharpton's use of the term "wickedness in high places" exactly describes  

       why so many injustices are able to be perpetrated against autistic people without

       redress. These crimes in the UK can only occur because those in positions of power

       (Chief Police Officers, PCCs, CEO's of the CPS, IOPC, ICO, etc., Chairs of Safeguarding

       Adult Boards, senior civil servants and Government Ministers themselves) allow them

       to happen.


What do we learn from the stories on this site:


    "Decision making concerning health care matters should be made by clinically trained

     professionals and not police officers.”  'College of Policing, Authorised Professional

     Practice: Mental Health' 


  • that Care in the Community, that was suppose to follow the mass closure of Victorian mental asylums in the 1980s, has collapsed;


  • that instead of Care in the Community, Victorian mental asylums have now been replaced by private hospitals (some owned by American corporations charging the NHS as much as £730,000 per patient a year) run on prison lines and by people with less skills and training than those who worked in the former Victorian asylums;


  • that some autistic people end up criminalised in the actual prison system as a default for effective Community Care;


  • that proper Community Care could be provided at a fraction of the cost the NHS wastes on over medicating and assaulting autistic people in private hospitals, or the MoJ spend on criminalising and incarcerating them prisons;


  • that aspects of Care in the Community has been replaced by police acting as de-facto front line mental health workers without the training or skills of mental health nurses or social workers who require a minimum 3 year training;


  • increasing evidence that the NHS are handing over significant funding directly to the police to carry out safeguarding responsibilities that are properly their own and that of Local Authorities;


  • that Government funded watchdogs, such as the Independent Office of Police Conduct (IOPC), are colluding with covering up assaults and Human Rights abuses against autistic people in an attempt to maintain public confidence in the police at the expense of upholding justice;


  • that in the process, the lives of autistic people, their families and carers are being torn apart: leaving a trail of physical and psychological damage; ruined reputations and retention of inaccurate and prejudicial data; and often financial ruin in its wake: "no one should have to fight year after year and decade after decade in search of the truth" Theresa May speaking on Hillsborough;


  • and finally, that politicians, Select Committee Chairs, and Government Ministers, have failed to acknowledge, scrutinise or address these abuses in spite of them having been continually brought to their attention—Matt Hancock’s string of broken promises to the parents of autistic people locked up in private hospitals is the most gross example of these failures. 


       As the Rev. Sharpton also noted, we don't need new laws, we need those in power to

       make sure that laws are applied equally to police officers who transgress them (if not

       more so because they are upholders of the law) as they are to minority groups they

       frequently target. The stories told on this site are evidence that those in authority are

       breaching the law in their treatment of autistic people, that lack of accountability is

       systemic, and that the criminal justice system as a whole (both fragmented yet glued

       together) is designed to break people down and give up from getting the justice they

       are entitled to. 



See recent News Items on THIS PAGE




Watch this Recent Intervew: Epidemic of Autistics Going to Jail



COMPLEMENTARY CAMPAIGNS:


NeuroClastic is one of the best and most hard hitting blogs run for and by autistic people


Neurodivergent Labour is a representative organisation for Labour Party Members and Supporters who are Neurodivergent and complement some of the aims of Autism Injustice.


         "We have the right to live independently, with a lifestyle of our choice. But many environments and essential

         spheres of life are hostile to dyspraxic, dyslexic, autistic and other neurodivergent people."


AutAngel is a community interest company run by and for autistic people.


Calm, Almost Too Calm is Panda Mery's website, the name prompted in part by the description on his police custody record: ‘RISK ASSESSMENT: D[etained] P[risoner] is calm on arrival, almost too calm’. See Panda's Story here.


LRIDD is our sister campaign group in the USA. We collaborate on aims, objectives and evidence. 


Transform Justice is a national charity working for a fair, humane, open and effective justice system:


"Transform Justice will enhance the system through promoting changeby generating research and evidence to show how the system works and how it could be improved, and by persuading the public to support those changes and practitioners and politicians to make them."


Rightfullives is an online exhibition exploring the human rights of people with learning disabilities and autism through their thoughts, experiences, multimedia and art works:


"The exhibits are full of joy and laughter, anguish, pain and ocassionally strong language. They will make you smile, cry and rage."


National Autistic Society


In recent weeks, the appalling situation of thousands of autistic people in Assessment and Treatment Units has come to the nation’s attention again. ... Campaigns to change the appalling situation and how you can help."  16th November 2018    (see also NAS 'Criminal Justice Newsletters')