Australian and New Zealand Society of Criminology

ADHD and the Justice System, 19 December

This lunchtime event will feature a lecture by Professor Lorana Bartels (ANU) concerning her recent analysis of justice responses to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in finalised criminal cases in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) Supreme Court. Professor Bartels’ findings indicate that the courts missed opportunities to discuss how ADHD might impact upon defendants’ offending and/or sentencing. More broadly the study underscores the need for:

• improved awareness, diagnosis and treatment of ADHD, from early intervention in school, across the broader community, and throughout the justice system;
• culturally appropriate responses to ADHD in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander populations; and
• improved treatment for co-occurring ADHD and substance use.

Professor Bartels’ timely research will be highly informative for ANZSOC members locally and nationally; ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects about 4% of Australians. The links between ADHD and the justice system are well established, with young people with ADHD 2.5-7 times more likely to be involved in the youth justice system, while 20-25% of adult prison populations are estimated to have ADHD. Despite this, the implications are not well understood or addressed.

Location: Law School, University of Tasmania (Sandy Bay)
Date: 19 December 2022