We’re only just beginning to understand how widespread Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) might be among the general population, and now Professor Elizabeth Elliott is calling for compulsory screening of young offenders prior to sentencing.
Professor Elliott works at the Children’s Hospital at Westmead in Sydney, and is an expert in FASD. In a post published on Drinktank, she writes:
In Australia, we don’t know how many people deemed “unfit to plead” are in prison and how many have cognitive impairment, as we lack recent data regarding rates of FASD in prisons. US studies suggest up to 60% of young people with FASD will at some time enter the juvenile justice system.