Police & Justice

 

According to a 2019 study in Canada, over 30% of individuals in the penal system presented with FASD, and the Banksia Hill Detention Centre study in Australia put the figure even higher at 36% (with only 2% previously diagnosed). The figure here in Aotearoa New Zealand will be as high as that, if not higher.

As a frontline justice worker, when you come into contact with individuals who have, or are suspected to have FASD, it's essential to think about how you are communicating – the person may present as neurotypical but there are many things you may be saying that simply do not make sense to an individual with FASD.

FASD behaviour resulting from communication breakdowns could be construed as wilful and further unhelpful punitive justice may be applied. 

A three-minute video from The Asante Centre in Canada illustrates this perfectly. Click on the picture below to watch.