Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders and the Criminal Justice System
INDIVIDUALS WITH THE NATION’S LEADING PREVENTABLE DISABILITY OFTEN IN TROUBLE WITH THE LAW
WASHINGTON, Nov. 16, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Join the National Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (NOFAS) for a press conference to highlight the legal issues surrounding Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) as featured in a special double issue of The Journal of Psychiatry & Law. FASD is the nation’s leading preventable cause of developmental disabilities and birth defects, affecting as many as 40,000 newborns each year.
FASD and legal experts discuss the prevalence of the disability in prison populations, the implications of FASD for law enforcement, the courts, and corrections, and FASD as a mitigating circumstance in sentencing, among other issues. Also featured is a compelling, first-person account of the victimization of individuals with the condition.
Thursday, November 17, 2011
9:15 – 10:30 a.m.
The National Press Club
529 14th Street, 13th Floor
4th Estate Room
Edward Riley, PhD, Director, Center for Behavioral Teratology, San Diego State University
William J. Edwards, JD, Deputy Public Defender, Los Angeles Co. Public Defenders Office
Rich Adler, MD, Forensic and Clinical Psychiatry, Private Practice
Fred Bookstein, PhD, Professor of Morphometrics, University of Vienna, and Professor of Statistics, University of Washington
Stephen Greenspan, PhD, Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, University of Colorado
Kathryn Kelly, Director, FASD Legal Issues Resource Center, University of Washington
Karen Thiel, PhD, JD, Of Counsel, Patton Boggs LLP
The Honorable Anthony Wartnik, Retired Trial Judge; Principal, FASD Experts
George Woods, MD, Morehouse School of Medicine
Kathy Mitchell, MHS, Vice President, NOFAS; and Karli Schrider, Volunteer, NOFAS
FASD is an umbrella term that describes the range of physical, mental, behavioral, and/or learning disabilities that can occur in an individual whose mother drank alcohol during pregnancy. Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) is the most serious outcome of prenatal alcohol exposure. Nearly half of individuals with the full FAS come into contact with the justice system by the age of 18. Alcohol is a neurotoxin with the capacity to interfere with human development at any time during pregnancy. Since 1981, the U.S. Surgeon General has advised that there is no known safe amount of alcohol use during pregnancy and, that due to the risk of birth defects, women who are pregnant or are considering pregnancy should abstain from alcohol.
SOURCE National Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome