Publications

2016
Pei J, Leung WSW, Jampolsky F, Alsbury B. Experiences in the Canadian Criminal Justice System for Individuals with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders: Double Jeopardy?. Canadian Journal of Criminology and Criminal Justice. 2016.Abstract
The study explored the experiences of individuals in the criminal justice system with a Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) in order to identify possible ways to reduce the likelihood of re-entry into the criminal justice system. Semi-structured interviews were conducted to capture the voices of two participant groups: (1) individuals with an FASD, and (2) professionals who work with clients with an FASD. Qualitative research methods were used to analyse the data. Analysis of 20 interviews (n = 21) yielded three major themes: (1) primed to enter the system, (2) hindered within the system, and (3) strengthened to move beyond the system. Participants identified biological (e.g., poor decision-making abilities and inability to self-advocate), psychological (e.g., mental health issues and victimization), and social factors (e.g., limited social support) that increased risk of re-entry into the criminal justice system. Participants also identified strengths (e.g., hope, willingness to change, and resilience) that could assist with more positive outcomes. The study provides insight into the unique experiences of individuals in the criminal justice system with an FASD - with reference to both risk factors and relevant personal strengths. Implications for practice are discussed, including suggestions for increasing support, awareness, and a focus on strengths. (English) [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]