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Always a hot topic in the media,  FASD and the justice system has been featured in several news articles around the globe this month.

“System Failing Offenders with Alcohol-Related Brain Disability – Judge”

New Zealand Herald

Following the recent Australasian Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Conference in Brisbane, Australia, the New Zealand Herald published an article titled “System failing offenders with alcohol-related brain disability – judge”based on the keynote address at the conference. The article quotes Auckland District and Youth Court Judge Tony FitzGerald’s comments on the effect of prenatal alcohol related brain damage on offenders, stating that offenders with FASD are at greater risk of re-offence and poorer outcomes. This article highlights the importance of identifying those with FASD in New Zealand so that they can be properly dealt with in the justice system.

“Rural Judge Judges Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Differently”

Barrow

Another news piece, covered by NBC’s KTUU in Alaska, provides a hopeful story on the issue. The piece, titled “Rural Judge Judges Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Differently“, covers similar issues to the above article, however the article  introduces Judge Michael Jeffery in Barrow, Alaska, who is changing the way he deals with individuals with FASD in the court room. Judge Jeffery helps those with FASD  cope with the justice process by taking a more personal approach. He focuses on positives in the court room, uses plain language, and has even changed bail order forms, making them easier to understand and less overwhelming for offenders with FASD. The probation office in Barrow is also catching on. Their forms are now written in plain English and in first person writing for individuals with FASD. Although allowances like these can take some effort on the part of the justice system, Barrow AK is a great example of a step in the right direction.

“Yukon MP plans private member bill on FASD” 

Yuknow Private Member Bill on FASD

A private members’ bill regarding individuals with FASD is one of several topics of discussion surrounding FASD and the justice system in the Yukon, as reported by CBC News. As discussed in the article, “Yukon MP Plans Private Member Bill on FASD”, MP Ryan Leef’s proposed bill acknowledges the disabilities associated with FASD and would allow judges to consider alternate sentencing options (other than incarceration) when sentencing individuals with FASD.

“I Thought I Was Just a Bad Kid”

Finally, an article from Anishinabek News titled “I thought I was just a bad kid” begins with one man’s experience with FASD, from being involved with criminal activity to graduating college and speaking about FASD to audiences. Matt St. Clair presented his story at Mississauga First Nation’s Fourth Annual FASD Conference in October. The article also covers other topics from the conference relating to FASD and justice, such as an information card created for police officers and front line worker and the Sault Community Court- an alternative to criminal court- where an individual’s mental disorder is taken into account as they go through the court process.

 

For more FASD and Justice related topics, visit out “Criminal Justice” category

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If you have been to any number of FASD conferences or FASD related activities across Canada lately, chances are you have heard of Myles Himmelreich.

Myles is an experienced motivational speaker who shares his story of living with FASD. He has presented at numerous conferences across Canada and serves as a mentor, public speaker, FASD consultant, and advocate. Myles is a great example of someone who works hard to overcome the obstacles presented by FASD and embrace the positive aspects of life. We have seen him present at numerous conferences and can attest to his great stage presence. Whether he is recounting the story of his life with FASD or sporting a hilarious get-up to host a conference, Myles is an inspiration in the FASD community.

So of course, when we learned that Myles had a new website and Facebook page, we were excited to share them with you! If you have seen Myles speak and are interested in working with him, everything you need to know is on his website. Don’t know Myles yet? All the more reason to check out his page or drop him a line on Facebook!

Myles Himmelreich’s Website
Myles Himmelreich’s Facebook Page

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