Sentencing Judgements of Adolescents with and Without Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder

  • Author / Creator
    Deren, Cassandra L
  • As many as 60% of those diagnosed with FASD come into contact with the Criminal Justice System (CJS), with youth with FASD being 19 times more likely to be in prison than their peer without (Chartrand & Forbes-Chilibeck, 2003; Fast et al., 1999; Institute of Health Economics, 2013; Popova et al., 2011). While the unique constellation of impairments of those with FASD can present challenges at every stage of the CJS, it is at the sentencing stage of the process where there is much controversy (Gagnier et al., 2011; Millward, 2013; Roach & Bailey, 2009). There has been no quantitative research conducted with youth to examine whether a diagnosis of FASD influences sentencing when comparing those with FASD to those without. Although it has been acknowledged that FASD should be given special consideration (e.g., considered a mitigating factor or result in individualized sentencing). Despite this lack of knowledge, there is much interest in legislation and policy development aimed at better responding to those with FASD in the CJS (Flannigan et al., 2018). This study quantitatively examined whether youth with a diagnosis of FASD are sentenced differently than youth who do not have FASD, after controlling for factors that must be considered in standard sentencing principles (e.g., prior offence history and risk to re-offend). The results of this study found that sentencing decisions were not impacted by whether there was a diagnosis of FASD. The results have several important implications and highlight the need for further research in this area.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Fall 2022
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Doctor of Philosophy
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Library with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.