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OLD Neurodiversity and the Justice System

90 Minutes

Thursday, 16 March 2023

9:30 to 11:00 (GMT)

Registration has closed for this event!

About the event

The justice system is designed to protect society and ensure justice for all, but it often fails to take into account the unique needs and perspectives of neurodivergent individuals. 

To take one example, neurodivergent individuals may have challenges with social cues and may be more likely to have negative experiences with law enforcement as a result. Similarly, law enforcement or court personnel may have limited awareness or abilities to engage with rehabilitative interventions.

There are areas of good practice in police forces, probation services and prisons working to make significant improvements and changes for neurodivergent people. But what does neuro-inclusive practice in the justice system look like?

Our panel will include individuals with lived experience, as well as professionals working in the field of criminal justice and neurodiversity advocacy. They will share their perspectives and expertise, as well as discussing potential solutions for creating a more inclusive and fair  justice system for all. 

Don't miss this important conversation about an often-overlooked topic.

Please note that our events are not being recorded, to encourage our participants to speak openly about their personal stories and experiences.

Caroline Turner | Event Chair

Chief Executive Officer and Founder of Creased Puddle

Diagnosed at 47 with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Caroline is the Founder and Managing Director of Creased Puddle Ltd a UK based Neurodiversity training and consultancy company. Caroline spent 21 years as a Police Officer qualifying to Inspector before retiring in 2017.

Prior to leaving she was supported by her Chief Officer team to create the first Neurodiversity support group in British Policing. Creased Puddle was launched in early 2018 and has since grown to become a recognised centre of expertise for Neurodiversity.

Caroline employs professionals with a range of Neurological differences which all bring their unique talents to Creased Puddle, securing its ‘Disability Confident Employer’ status.

Darren Downs

Lecturer & Retired Police Officer

I am a retired Police Officer having retired after 30 years’ service and reached the rank of Assistant Chief Constable. I on retirement have a role lecturing on policing degree and also a private business delivering coaching & mentoring, leadership training, reviewing activity and have developed a wellbeing and communication model called SORT-IT in collaboration with a counselling psychologist. I have a real passion for diversity & inclusion and domestic abuse research.

John Nelson

Chair, National Police Autism Association

John is a Sergeant with British Transport Police. His interest in autism came when he was diagnosed with the condition at the age of 40, after eight years’ service. In 2015 John founded the NPAA ( to support colleagues with a personal, family or professional interest in autism and other neurodivergent conditions, and to promote neurodiversity within policing.

The NPAA provides direct support to its 2,000+ members via an online members’ forum and through a network of local neurodiversity champions.

Ray Milligan

Radio Presenter, Neuro Diversity Associate and Police Sargeant

Ray is a Police Sergeant, who has Kayaked from Coast to Coast, stopping on route to Run the Yorkshire Three Peaks.

For almost twenty years as a police officer Ray hid the fact that he was stupid and did not understand what was going on.

Then at 49 years old he experienced yet another mental health crisis and discovered that he is Autistic and have ADHD, Dyslexia and OCD and it turns out he’s not stupid.
Ray has experienced first-hand the challenges faced by individuals and organisation in supporting Neurodiverse and the long term impact of poor decisions.

Alexis Poole

Assistant Chief Officer, Devon and Cornwall Police

She has led change programmes transforming support functions and approaches to responding to demand. She sat on the NPCC Performance Management Co-ordinating committee and was the NPCC representative for demand on the Home Office Technical Reference Group for the Funding Formula Review. In 2018 she completed the Strategic Command Course. In December 2019 Alexis took up the post of Assistant Chief Officer – People and is now the NPCC Lead for Neurodiversity

Luke Beardon

Senior Lecturer in Autism, The Autism Centre at Sheffield Hallam University

With five published books on autism and a sixth on its way, Luke is the Course Leader for the Post Graduate Certificate in Autism at Sheffield Hallam University. A prolific conference speaker on the international scene Luke also has several media engagements on TV and radio.

A multiple Inspirational Teacher award winner he also holds the National Autistic Society award for Individual Educational Professional and a Lifetime Achievement Autism Heroes award. He confesses that he is obsessed with all things related to autism.

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