April 16th, 2016 The Current on CBC radio presented an episode on Bill C-235 proposed by Liberal MP Larry Bagnell introduced in January of this year. Bill C-235 targets those affected by fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) that are seemingly caught in the “revolving door” of the criminal justice system in Canada. Offenders involved in the Canadian criminal justice system are often a forgotten demographic of individuals with limited access to effective FASD specific interventions and community transitional programs.
For more information on Bill C-235 or to listen to the full CBC radio program on this topic please click the above links.
In order to better support those affected by FASD in the Canadian criminal justice system Bill C-235 is proposing the following changes in legislation:
Access to assessments for individuals suspected of having FASD
Allowing assessment to inform sentencing of these offenders
Reintegration plan for community transitions
The CBC radio episode features an interview with Russ Hilsher who has FASD and is a spokesperson for Initiatives for Just communities and discusses his personal experience in the Canadian criminal justice system and the need for programs and services for individuals with FASD involved in this system. As well as discussions on the proposed Bill C-235 with Jonathan Rudin, program director of Aboriginal Legal services and chair of FASD Justice Committee and Dan Brodsky, criminal defense lawyer with the Association in the Defense of the Wrongly Convicted.