FASD and youth justice in the news

Recent links to press articles about neurodisability in the youth court.


Part of FASD-CAN's advocacy is around youth justice. There is a well-documented over-representation of rangatahi with FASD within our courts and prisons: a combination of issues including impulsivity, eagerness to please, lack of judgement and recklessness, difficulties with language and communication can all contribute to teens and young adults with FASD getting into trouble.

Once involved in the justice system, there are high risks to effective participation for those with FASD. Equipping those in the justice sector to understand and support neurodiversity is required.

First, the good news

Click here to read about the new Youth Court pilot which is blazing a trail for neurodisabled rangatahi in Porirua District Court, and which lawyers and judges around the country are showing keen interest in. 

Further information in a Law Society article here

Articles on FASD in our justice system

There have been many news items on miscarriages of justice due to individuals with FASD (or other neurodiversity) being unfit to stand trial in recent times – a snapshot of press articles is below. 

Mauha Fawcett's wrongful conviction, Stuff, June 11, 2022

'Disabled and criminalised', featuring FASD-CAN Chair Leigh Henderson and Dr Valerie McGinn, Stuff, 08 June 2022 

Haami Hanara appeal, NZ Herald, 17 May 2022

'Judge's Plea' – part of the 'Disordered' investigation on Stuff by Paula Penfold and Louisa Cleave, March 2022

Courts no place for fetal alcohol victims, University of Auckland article by Emma Espiner, 10 March 2020

'Teina Pora: the true cost of injustice', Stuff, 14 June 2016