FASD & the Justice System

R. v. Linklater, 2012 YKTC 68 (Lilles J.)

Guilty pleas of Aboriginal offender to theft, breach of probation, threatening, obstruct justice – 30 yo offender with 60 convictions – more time in jail than out of jail – much of offending behaviour related to supporting alcohol and drug addictions – traumatic and tumultuous formative years – grandparents and great-grandparents residential school survivors – personal history and performance characteristics strongly suggest possibility of FASD, no formal assessment – ample evidence of intellectual functioning disorder, immature, impulsive and antisocial – numerous reports indicating that FASD testing should be undertaken, two court requests, no assessment done – number of professionals determined that full FASD assessment including identification of weaknesses and strengths on which to build programming and learning is essential for rehabilitation – further psychological report ordered by court sets out more detailed information about limitations – significant obligation on justice community because of previous failures to respond appropriately – 18 months for obstruct – 4 months CSO for other offences, more time in jail would add nothing to rehabilitation and deterrence – no programming in jail, would amount to locking him up for the sake of locking him up.