Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder in the Criminal Justice System

Individuals with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) experience a range of physical, cognitive, affective, and behavioral impairments as a consequence of exposure to alcohol during pregnancy. FASD most often occurs in the context of additional mental and physical health difficulties, high rates of early life adversity, and poor developmental outcomes, including contact with the criminal justice system. The high prevalence of FASD in the criminal justice system is concerning for several reasons. There is limited professional awareness and capacity to recognize the disability and the difficulties experienced by many offenders with FASD may contribute to increased recidivism and a revolving door trajectory through the criminal justice system. This entry focuses on the intersection between FASD and the criminal justice system, including background, prevalence, research, screening, ...

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