“Many specialists suggest that a significant number of individuals who come into contact with the criminal justice system have FASD. Only medical professionals are qualified to diagnose FASD, but 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. I encourage you to become informed and to form linkages with health and social agencies and community groups that provide support to FASD individuals, their families and communities. By working with these groups, you will contribute to the well-being of communities affected by these disorders. Your support in promoting public awareness about FASD, through substance abuse awareness programs may even prevent future cases.”

Check out the following FASD Guidebook for Police Officers developed by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and published at http://www.asantecentre.org/. Topics include:

Section 1 – About Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD)

Section 2 – FASD Profile and Law Enforcement

2.1 – Understanding and Exerting Legal Rights
2.2 – Conducting Interviews and Taking Statements
2.3 – Re-planning Your Investigation
2.4 – Investigation Checklist

Section 3 – Community Networking

3.1 – Diversionary Practices
3.2 – Networking Checklist

Section 4 – Prevention

Section 5 – FASD Resources and Support Organizations

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