Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder in Confinement Settings: A Review for Correctional Professionals

"Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) is a serious lifelong disorder that has been largely understudied within the context of corrections. FASD is a complicated, and often misunderstood and challenging disorder. Individuals with FASD who are confined to a correctional setting may be perceived as lazy, manipulative, irritating and self-defeating, especially when correctional staff lack an awareness and understanding of the disorder. The aim of this article is to present suggested approaches that correctional professionals should consider when interacting with inmates with FASD or suspected of having FASD as well as highlighting various factors that should be taken into account when someone with this disorder is serving a sentence within a confinement setting" (p. 1). Sections of this article include: abstract; introduction; FASD in correctional settings-identification, awareness, screening, community supervision, and communication suggestions; and conclusion. Appendixes cover: possible consequences associated with prenatal alcohol exposure; considerations for correctional professionals; intended benefits of routine screening for FASD within criminal justice settings; possible services available for individuals impacted by FASD; and an intervention approach-D.E.A.R. (Direct language, Engage support system, Accommodate needs, Remain calm).