Search results

1 – 1 of 1
Article
Publication date: 3 July 2017

Jerrod Brown, Janina Cich and Jay Singh

Persons diagnosed with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) are more likely to come into contact with the criminal justice system than general population controls…

Abstract

Purpose

Persons diagnosed with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) are more likely to come into contact with the criminal justice system than general population controls. Although previous survey evidence has suggested that federal district attorneys are limited in their knowledge of the psycholegal impairments presented by defendants with this condition, such research has yet to have been conducted with state-specific public defenders. The paper aims to discuss these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

The Dillman Total Design Method was used to disseminate an electronic survey to public defenders in Minnesota. The survey included questions designed to measure their knowledge bases on and legal experiences with FASD. Surveys were completed by 135 respondents (nMen=63; nWomen=72) with an average of 16.22 years (SD=11.34) of legal experience.

Findings

Respondents varied in their knowledge bases on the cognitive impairments, social deficits, and physical complications characteristic of FASD. Less than 20 percent of respondents reported having received training on the psycholegal impairments experienced by individuals diagnosed with FASD from arrest until the start of adjudication, during adjudication, or during incarceration. Over 95 percent of respondents reported that they could benefit from a Continuing Legal Education course on the psycholegal impairments of individuals diagnosed with FASD, and over 90 percent reported that they could benefit from being provided the findings of a screening tool for FASD in their daily practice.

Originality/value

First survey of state public defenders’ perceptions of FASD.

Details

Advances in Mental Health and Intellectual Disabilities, vol. 11 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2044-1282

Keywords

1 – 1 of 1