Workshop: Overview - FASD and the Law

September 28, 2022 |10:00 AM - 11:00 AM PST
1 Hour | 1 CE
$100 Registration
The live professional training program on Overview: FASD and the Law is presented by Michael L. Perlin, JD, and Heather Ellis Cucolo in partnership with Mental Disability Law and Policy Associates.
Despite the movement to provide adequate care to persons with disabilities in the legal system, similar protections for persons with fetal alcohol syndrome have remained notably absent. Supports and services for persons with FASD (Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders) are still lacking, and FASD remains a low priority in mental disability and disability rights advocacy. FASD is linked to several factors that distinguish it as a distinct disability with unique considerations, such as high rates of mental health issues and substance use challenges, justice system involvement, and experiences of stigmatization. Given the complexity of the diagnosis, a human-rights-based approach to supporting persons with FASD is important, including the diversity of impairment and the potential for experiences of inequality in legal and treatment settings.
FASD is often overlooked or mis-interpreted in the criminal court system and has yet to be fully accepted in the context of incompetency, insanity, and mitigation in criminal case law. One particular area of concern and need for reform is during the criminal sentencing phase. Although persons with FASD share some commonalities with other disability groups and complex populations, the need for individualized services, accommodations, and trauma-informed approaches is necessary to ensure equality under the law. Therapeutic jurisprudence, a relational approach to law that emphasizes the role of empowerment, human rights, and psychological/emotional well-being in legal matters may provide a framework to respect the rights of persons with FASD who are justice-involved.