Court & Judgement

As we’ve seen in the previous sections, offenders with untreated ADHD may enter criminal justice system because of neurological impairments. They are not only more likely to engage in criminal activity, but they are also more likely to be charged for that crime. In a judgement setting, ADHD symptoms can continue to cause problems, meaning that an individual with this disorder is also more likely to be sentenced for their offense.

The attention impairments of those with AD/HD can make one appear unconcerned or uncooperative, which is not the ideal attitude to portray in a criminal justice setting.  If they are unable to follow and focus on the court proceedings, they may appear as if they are not taking the situation seriously, or come off as having a bad attitude. This will not reflect well on them when the judge or jury are assessing the case and deciding a verdict or sentence.

They may also have trouble keeping track of instructions or recalling details, making it difficult to work successfully with their attorney. They may inadvertently offer a confession during interrogation, not realizing the implications of this action. Court cases are complicated and confusing enough for the average person, but made even more so when an individual is dealing with the additional challenge of a neurological disorder.

Criminal justice professional can learn to distinguish defendants with untreated AD/HD and attempt to include some sort of assessment or follow-up treatment as part of sentencing