A clinical team at Saskatoon’s Regional Psychiatric Centre is working to diagnose Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) in incarcerated people.
The pilot project seeks to rehabilitate people with the disorder, connecting them with supports to keep them in the community and out of the criminal justice system.
FASD is linked to alcohol exposure in the womb, and can cause cognitive, behavioural and physical disabilities, according to the FASD Network of Saskatchewan.
People with FASD are more likely to be involved with the criminal justice system due to neuropsychological deficits in judgement, Correctional Service Canada says.
Dr. Mansfield Mela, a forensic psychiatrist and lead clinician for the project at the Regional Psychiatric Centre (RPC), said many inmates who have FASD haven’t been diagnosed — and that’s a problem.