Legal Resources

It is recognized that individuals with FASD are at higher risk of involvement with the law, particularly when their support needs are not met in the community.  It is important to remember, however, that while many resources are designed for offenders, individuals with FASD are at equal risk of becoming involved in the legal system as witnesses or victims, or through family law services.


Forensic Scholars Today - Special FASD Edition

A special edition of Forensic Scholars Today, featuring articles related to FASD. Featured articles include: 

Article 1: What Forensic Professionals Need to Know About FASD
Article 2: FASD in the Criminal Justice System: Invisible in Plain Sight
Article 3: Social Dysfunction: A Key Deficit in Adults with Suspected and Confirmed FASD
Article 4: FASD: A Review for Criminal Justice and Legal Educators
Article 5: FASD and Art Therapy: An Exploratory Review


FASD and Communication Disability: Strategies for Youth in the Legal System

Bodaly, K. (2011) The Asante Centre

Available for free download, this curriculum for caregivers and service providers examines the challenges of communication disability common for youth with FASD who find themselves involved in the legal system. 


FASD and Justice

FASD and Justice provides a wealth of information related to FASD and its impact on various aspects of the justice system, from investigation to sentencing and corrections.  The site offers actual court cases where FASD was presented as a factor, and is also available in French.


FASD and the Criminal Legal System: Are We Criminalizing Disability?{ckey}

School of Social Work, University of Victoria (2007)

Featuring court, prison and legal professionals, family members and a young man with FASD, this video discusses key issues relating to FASD and the legal system.  It highlights the need for diagnosis, long-term support and accommodations for those living with the disability. 


FASD Pocket Cards

Pacific Community Resources Society



These FASD Pocket Cards are intended to assist police and other criminal justice workers understand some of the limitations an individual with FASD may have regarding understanding abstract legal concepts


FASD Guidebook for Police Officers

Laporte, A., McKee, T., Lisakowski, Z., Chudley, A., and Conry, J. (2002) Royal Canadian Mounted Police

Many specialists suggest that a significant number of individuals who come into contact with the criminal justice system have FASD; law enforcement officers must be aware of FASD, its characteristics and behaviours.  This is necessary so they can identify and deal effectively and appropriately with clients who come into contact with the law as victims, suspects or witnesses.


Fetal Alcohol and the Law

Site creator David Boulding, lawyer, offers a unique perspective of his experience working with clients either diagnosed with or suspected of having FASD.  The site offers educational opportunities as well as many print and video resources created by Mr. Boulding, including “Mistakes I Have Made” and “Sex Rules for FASD.”


Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and the Criminal Justice System

Conry, J. and Fast, D. (2000) BC FAS Resource Society and Law Foundation of BC

This book provides comprehensive information about the implications of FASD in the criminal justice system.  Judges, lawyers, probation and parole officers, those working within the legal system, individuals and their families will find this tool of particular relevanceThis resource is available for purchase through Minga Marketplace.


Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and the Criminal Justice System: Understanding the Offender with FAS

The Asante Centre (2002-2004)

This video series offers a comprehensive understanding of the implications of FASD for the legal system from a variety of perspectives, including a young man with FASD, a judge and a lawyer.

  • Video 1: “Talking with Victor”
  • Video 2: “A Judge's Perspective - With Judge Cunliffe Barnett”
  • Video 3:  “Mistakes I Have Made - With Lawyer David Boulding”

 This resource can be found at our Maple Ridge Office which is located at 103-22356 McIntosh Avenue in Maple Ridge.

Identifying Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Among Youth in the Criminal Justice System

Conry, J., and Fast, D. (1999)

This study laid the foundation for the popular publication Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and the Criminal Justice System (Conry & Fast).  The study determined the prevalence of FAS/FAE among youth who were remanded for a forensic psychiatric/psychological assessment and found that this group was disproportionately represented in the juvenile justice system.

Invisible - FASD and the Justice System

This video features the personal stories of three people with FASD and their struggles within the justice system. Invisible exposes the myths and realities of FASD and what experts believe is needed to help offenders with the disorder.


Youth Probation Officer’s Guide to FASD Screening and Referral

Conry, J., and Asante, K. (2010)

Through its Youth Justice FASD Program and research initiatives, the Asante Centre has developed a screening tool and referral process for use by probation officers that has been found to be effective in identifying youth who are likely to receive an FASD diagnosis, when assessed.