A multi-perspective qualitative study about working with autistic individuals in prison-based interventions to address sexual offending
|Vinter, L.P., Dillon, G., Winder, B. and Harper, C.A.
Research suggests that sexual offending is one of the more common forms of offending behaviour committed by autistic individuals. Despite this, very little research has investigated approaches to rehabilitation for autistic individuals who have sexually offended. The small body of literature that does exist suggests that interventions to address sexual offending may not be sufficiently adapted for this group. In this paper we present an exploratory qualitative study that (i) explores how prison-based interventions to address sexual offending are experienced by autistic individuals with sexual offense convictions and the staff who work with them, and (ii) identifies and explores the features of prison-based sexual offending interventions that may be challenging or beneficial for autistic individuals, from the perspective of those involved in treatment. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 12 autistic men serving prison sentences for sexual convictions, and 13 members of prison staff. A multi-perspective phenomenologically-informed thematic analysis identified three themes of ‘Feeling overwhelmed’, ‘Out of the comfort zone’, and ‘(Dis)connected to others’. These themes highlight some of the key issues relating to the format and delivery of interventions, as well as the impact of the broader prison context on rehabilitation.
|Autism; Sexual Offending; Interventions; Multi-perspective; Rehabilitation
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
|Web address (URL)
|Accepted author manuscript
File Access Level
|16 Nov 2023
|Publication process dates
|17 Nov 2023
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