Justice System to Discuss the Issue of FASD among Prisoners

Justice System to Discuss the Issue of FASD among Prisoners

To discuss the problem of offenders affected with fetal alcohol syndrome and justice system’s approach towards it, a meeting will be held between Justice Minister Rob Nicholson and his provincial counterparts this week.

The challenges posed by the syndrome were thrown light by Jonathan Rudin, who is justice committee co-chair at the FASD (fetal alcohol spectrum disorder) Ontario Network of Expertise.

People suffering from fetal alcohol syndrome look as normal as other persons. But, if the problem doesn’t get diagnosed on time, this could result into troubles like inability to learn, drop outs and easily manipulative nature during their school time. Such people eventually lands into criminal activities.

So, it’s advisable to examine convicts against FASD before charging or sentencing them. There are some programs launched in the prisons to cater to the problems of FASD people. Such programs include cognitively-based programs, addiction programs, violence-prevention programs and anger-management programs. These programs aim at altering behavior.

When one gets diagnosed with FASD, he/she tries to upgrade his/her behavior and this leads to less chances of recurring of offence. Even if someone recommits offence, it would not be a serious one or the time period of recurrence would be longer.

In Canada, the FASD rate is not much, about 1% of the whole population born with such defects. But, the FASD figures are overrepresented by the justice system and the estimates vary from 10 to 40 to 50% of people behind the bars living with FASD.