Lawyer David Boulding has become an expert on FASD: Candid talk, wise advice on fetal alcohol problems
By Wendy Fraser, Lillooet News (October 23rd, 2013) (Accessed October 27th, 2013)
Commentary by Shauna Makie
Criminal lawyer David Boulding was invited by the Lillooet Community Partners Resource Group (LCPRG) in Lillooet, B.C. to give a daylong seminar on the topic of FASD, followed by an evening panel discussion. Boulding described FASD as an education, social, police, medical, familial, community and national problem. His discussion emphasized that while dealing with someone with FASD, the issues are not to be considered as “non-compliant”, but as “non-competence”.
Boulding attended a Chamber of Commerce luncheon that was described as “not well-attended” and was acknowledged as such: “What’s wrong with this picture? This is the problem” stated Boulding. He indicated that FASD is one of the most perplexing issues in the legal system and ranges of FASD in prison populations can be from 30-80%. Boulding also highlighted that the issue of FASD is not isolated to minority populations, he was quoted stating “women who drink the most while pregnant have four years of university, are white, and earn 400 per cent above the poverty line”. The recognition of the diversity for those touched by FASD is important while discussing the matter. It is not an isolated population that receives diagnosis’, it is however often misdiagnosed for those in the upper classes as attention deficit rather than FASD. Boulding reminded listeners that it is the community that is needed to provide those with FASD an external brain to help fill the parts of their brain that is missing.
By: Miranda Scotland, Northern News Services (September 7, 2013) (Accessed: September 25, 2013)
Commentary by: Krystal Glowatski
The article outlines the first case in Nunavut to address sentencing issues surrounding FASD. In the case of 23-year-old Peter Joamie, charged and found guilty of sexual assault, the offender was handed a sentence of one year to 13 months, as requested by the Crown. The judge outlines the lack of services available to individuals with FASD in Nunavut; alternatively, FASD is being addressed through prevention and community awareness. Although prevention and awareness are beneficial, there is a serious need for services available to people already affected by FASD. The judge explained that “The Baffin Correctional Centre’s 18-bed Katak Unit is fast becoming a warehouse for the mentally ill, for those suffering from FASD, and for those who are otherwise vulnerable and needing protection.” The phenomenon of warehousing FASD individuals in prisons is not unique to Nunavut; however, the situation is expounded in a community that is so drastically depleted in available services. While the Crown requested what the judge refered to as a “generous” sentence, the defence neglected to provide evidence of Joamie’s condition. As the title of this article suggests, defence lawyers need to disclose such information where it may be considered in sentencing an offender. As was recently discussed at the Consensus Development Conference on FASD and Legal Issues in Edmonton, AB, issues surrounding FASD need to be taken into account during the legal process. Many recommendations came out of the recent Consensus Development, and perhaps with time, disclosing such information will be common practice and less people with FASD will be severely impacted by the criminal justice system. As it is now, the criminal justice system inadvertently sets these individuals up for failure. Responsibility has to be shared among all justice professionals to begin acknowledging FASD as a serious consideration in the criminal justice process.
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- Tagged Awareness, Consensus Development Conference, Criminal defense lawyer, Criminal justice, Crown, Edmonton, FASD, Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, Justice professionals, Justice Robert Kilpatrick, Legal process, Northern News Services, Nunavut, Prevention, Sentencing, The Baffin Correctional Centre
Consensus Development Conference on Legal Issues of FASD
This conference is a three-day juried hearing of evidence and scientific findings that allows for the engagement and collaboration of citizens and decision makers in government and the justice system in addressing a specific set of key questions on legal issues related to FASD. Jury Chair: The Honorable Ian Binnie, Former Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada. See website for full details.
Questions to be addressed at this conference:
1. What are the implications of FASD for the legal system?
2. Is there a need for enhanced efforts to identify people with FASD, and how can these efforts be achieved?
3. How can the criminal justice system respond more effectively to those with FASD?
4. How can family courts and the family/child welfare legal system address the specific needs of people with FASD?
5. What are the best practices for guardianship, trusteeship and social support in a legal context?
6. What legal measures are there in different jurisdictions to contribute to the prevention of FASD, and what are the ethical and economic implications of these measures?
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- Tagged Canada, conference, Criminal justice, FASD, Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, guardianship, Ian Binnie, key questions, Law, legal system, social support, Supreme Court, Supreme Court of Canada, trusteeship