- Youth with FASD are 19 times more likely than non-affected peers to be incarcerated
- Adults with FASD are 28 times more likely to be incarcerated
People with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) are more likely than their non-affected peers to come into contact with the justice system. Sheila Burns and Cheryl Neave from the FASD Ontario Network of Expertise (FASD ONE) explained why in a recent webinar hosted by the Provincial Human Services and Justice Coordinating Committee (HSJCC), with the support of the Evidence Exchange Network (EENet). FASD is an umbrella term that refers to several medical diagnoses which involve deficits in three or more areas of brain function as a result of prenatal exposure to alcohol. This type of brain damage can impact on an individual’s memory, language, and communication. FASD is invisible in more than 90 percent of cases and often goes unrecognized leading to involvement in the justice system.
More than 100 participants attended the webinar and identified proper diagnosis and assessment, education for justice professionals (e.g.police officers, judges, correctional staff) and available community services and supports, as the their top concerns when it comes to FASD and justice. These concerns align with the priority issues outlined by the FASD ONE Justice Action Group in a report titled FASD and Justice: Summary of Activity in Ontario.
The webinar also included a discussion of the call to action released by FASD ONE, which makes the case for the development of a provincial strategy on this issue.
If you missed the webinar, or would like to view the recording, watch online.
For a copy of the slides only, visit the HSJCC website.