A Unique Response to Offenders with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder: Perceptions of the Alexis FASD Justice Program [2017]

Despite our knowledge that individuals with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) are over-represented and vulnerable in the justice system, there is a critical paucity of research related to supporting offenders with FASD. The Alexis FASD Justice Program (AFJP) is an innovative and multidisciplinary justice program in rural Alberta that uses information from neurocognitive assessments to inform court decisions for adults with suspected FASD. In the current study, the perspectives of AFJP services providers were explored, with the goal of identifying the perceived impacts and challenges of the program. Through two focus groups with a total of 18 participants, four themes were identified: building capacity, humanizing the offender, creating bridges, and moving forward. These themes are discussed in reference to existing recommended practices for working with offenders with FASD, and future avenues for research are identified.

Katherine Flannigan, Jacqueline Pei, Carmen Rasmussen, Sandra Potts, Teresa O’Riordan
Canadian Journal of Criminology and Criminal Justice, Vol. 60, No. 1, January 2018