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Int J Law Psychiatry. 2015 Jul-Aug;41:76-81. doi: 10.1016/j.ijlp.2015.03.010. Epub 2015 Apr 4.

Cost attributable to Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder in the Canadian correctional system.

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  • 1Social and Epidemiological Research Department, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, 33 Russell St., Toronto, ON M5S 2S1, Canada; Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto, 155 College St., Toronto, ON M5T 3M7, Canada; Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work, University of Toronto, 246 Bloor St. W., Toronto, ON M5S 1V4, Canada; Institute of Medicine, University of Toronto, 1 King's College Circle, Toronto, ON M5S 1A8, Canada. Electronic address: lana.popova@camh.ca.
  • 2Social and Epidemiological Research Department, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, 33 Russell St., Toronto, ON M5S 2S1, Canada. Electronic address: shannon.lange@camh.ca.
  • 3Department of Pediatrics, University of North Dakota School of Medicine, 501 North Columbia Rd., Grand Forks, ND 58203, United States. Electronic address: larry.burd@med.und.edu.
  • 4Social and Epidemiological Research Department, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, 33 Russell St., Toronto, ON M5S 2S1, Canada; Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto, 155 College St., Toronto, ON M5T 3M7, Canada; Institute of Medicine, University of Toronto, 1 King's College Circle, Toronto, ON M5S 1A8, Canada; Epidemiological Research Unit, Klinische Psychologie and Psychotherapie, Technische Universit√§t Dresden, Chemnitzer Str. 46, D-01187 Dresden, Germany. Electronic address: jtrehm@gmail.com.

Abstract

Prenatal alcohol exposure is the leading identifiable cause of intellectual disability in the Western world and may result in Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD). Individuals with FASD have a higher risk of being involved in the legal system, either as offenders or as victims. Therefore, the aim of the current study was to estimate the direct cost for youths (12-17 years old) and adults (18+ years old) with FASD to the Canadian correctional system in 2011/2012. The prevalence of FASD in the Canadian correctional system, obtained from the current epidemiological literature, was applied to the average number of youths and adults in the correctional system in 2011/2012. The average daily cost for corrections was then applied to the estimated number of youths and adults with FASD in custody. The cost of corrections among youths with FASD in Canada in 2011/2012 was calculated to be approximately $17.5M Canadian dollars (CND; $13.6M CND for males and $3.8M CND for females) and among adults with FASD was estimated to be about $356.2M CND ($140M CND for provincial and territorial custody and $216.2M CND for federal custody). The study findings emphasize the need to raise awareness regarding the prevalence of FASD in the correctional system. It is crucial to incorporate FASD screening and intervention strategies as early as possible in the criminal justice process.

Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

KEYWORDS:

Canada; Corrections; Cost; Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder; Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

PMID:
25846557
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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