Date of Award

January 2017

Degree Type

Open Access Thesis

Document Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Justice Studies

First Advisor

James B. Wells

Department Affiliation

Justice Studies

Second Advisor

Kevin I. Minor

Department Affiliation

Justice Studies

Third Advisor

Myra Beth Bundy

Department Affiliation



Autism spectrum disorder is one of the largest growing neurological behavioral disabilities in the United States, with a rise in diagnoses from 2012 (1 in 88) to present day (1 in 68). Studies have shown that individuals with disabilities are more likely to be victimized. Thus, the increasing diagnoses of ASD increases the chance that a victim of crime will have ASD. Police officers should have a working and growing knowledge of ASD from day one, for this reason. This exploratory study uses a literature review of autism spectrum disorder in order to develop an evaluation to analyze the curriculum from Kentucky's Department Of Criminal Justice Training. The author, along with four subject matter experts, evaluated the training curriculum on autism spectrum disorder. The evaluations were used to determine whether or not police officers from the DOCJT are receiving the proper training on autism spectrum disorder. Results are conclusive of the hypothesis; police officers from Kentucky's DOCJT need further training on autism spectrum disorder.