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Chapter 8 - Overview of Offenders with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders

from Section 1 - An Overview: Definitions, Epidemiology and Policy Issues

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  18 May 2023

Jane M. McCarthy
Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and University of Auckland
Regi T. Alexander
Hertfordshire Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust and University of Hertfordshire
Eddie Chaplin
Institute of Health and Social Care, London South Bank University
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This chapter gives an overview of research on offenders with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs). We present a history of FASDs and assessment challenges, and describe the diagnostic process. Then we present the epidemiology of FASDs in young offenders: challenges with estimating the prevalence of FASDs; prevalence of FASDs in the criminal justice system; FASD prevalence in young offenders in comparison with other neurodevelopmental disorders; and the patterns, risk and protective factors of justice system encounters in young offenders with FASDs. We then focus on the relationship between FASDs and the criminal justice system in young offenders. We discuss the path to criminal justice encounters and the vulnerabilities of FASD-impacted individuals during investigative interviews. Finally, we discuss the ability to stand trials in young offenders with neurodevelopmental disorders with a focus on FASDs, the roles that evidence of FASDs plays in judicial proceedings, fitness to stand trial, FASD knowledge and awareness among criminal justice system professionals, and give recommendations for questioning individuals with neurodevelopmental disorders during judicial proceedings.

Forensic Aspects of Neurodevelopmental Disorders
A Clinician's Guide
, pp. 84 - 100
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2023

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