FASD and the Criminal Justice System: What You Need to Know

There was a part of me that was angry, but I also knew that the police department and the justice system were uninformed about how vulnerable and easily swayed people [with an FASD] are.
—Mother whose son with an FASD was wrongly convicted of a crime

Why do people with an FASD get in trouble with the law?

What are the issues related to FASD and the criminal justice system?

How can the criminal justice system address the needs of people living with FASD?


This fact sheet defines fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD) and lists reasons why people living with FASD might face the criminal justice system. It suggests strategies for the criminal justice system to better address the needs of people living with FASD, and discusses specific legal issues.

Credit / Sources

This pamphlet was published by SAMSHA and originally appeared on their website. 

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Contact Info

Indiana NOFAS, Inc.
1431 North Delaware Street
Indianapolis, IN 46202


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