Strategies for change in policing practice

Currently, frontline officers typically receive little training specific to FASD, although people with FASD are overrepresented in the wider group of justice-involved persons. While there is a push for FASD-focused training for frontline police, training time is limited. The following are suggested management strategies to help improve overall FASD understanding in practical ways:

  1. Implement mandatory short “block or watch” trainings about the disability focused on strategies for frontline officers to understand and respond to behaviors. Delivery could be 10-15 minute mini-presentations.
  2. Develop, possibly in collaboration with a local agency with experience working with people with FASD, a full day training or a train-the-trainer model for overall understanding of the disability across the frontline.
  3. Consider modest changes to professional standards to support FASD-informed practices.  Interventions appropriate for FASD can have benefit to persons with other brain-based disabilities, for example people with autism spectrum disorders or people with other brain-based disabilities or brain injuries.
  4. Modify interview rooms, including by altering the lighting and removing posters or other items on the walls, to accommodate for sensory challenges.
  5. Create internal resources, and identify subject matter experts so when a police officer suspects an individual may have complex needs such as those associated with FASD, there are supports to assist the officer to execute a successful investigation that is FASD-informed.

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