"Custody sentences of less than 2 years, remand and community based sanctions are the province's and territories' responsibility. Custodial sentences over two years fall under the federal penitentiary system."
The Corrections and Conditional Release Act governs federal corrections; the Corrections and Conditional Release Regulations determine the policies established to implement this legislation. Each province has its own series of statutes that provides regulations for provincial adult correctional services.
People with FASD are overrepresented both in the criminal justice system and in corrections in Canada, in numbers far exceeding the Health Canada estimate that prevalence of FASD in the general Canadian population is around 1%. A 2019 report from the Office of the Correctional Investigator notes: “Given the diagnostic challenges of identifying individuals living with FASD, there are currently no confirmed national statistics;. While there are also no consistent national prevalence rates for FASD in correctional settings, it is estimated that 10% to 23% of federally incarcerated individuals meet the criteria for FASD.” Potentially the numbers are even higher: one American study found that as many as 60% of individuals living with FASD come into contact with the law and 35% experience incarceration.
Understanding how some of the primary and secondary characteristics associated with FASD impact involvement with correctional services is crucial to identifying ways of supporting individuals living with FASD as well as their families and communities. See our “Effects on FASD” section [LINK] for an explanation of these characteristics. Some examples of behaviours that might impact incarcerated people specifically include the following: