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Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) consists of social and communication deficits, cognitive rigidity, and behavioral sequelae, all of which can vary in presence and severity across individuals with the disorder. These symptoms increase the likelihood that an individual will become entangled in the criminal justice system and can have a devastating impact on an individual’s capacity to participate in the legal process. Learn more. View online or by PDF.
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) refers to a set of pervasive, life-long conditions caused by prenatal alcohol exposure. The consequences associated with prenatal alcohol exposure can contribute to a host of adverse outcomes that can impact behavioral, cognitive, educational, social, and vocational capacities. Deficits associated with FASD can lead to individual issues with decision-making, long-term planning and understanding, memory, suggestibility, confabulation, and vulnerability, all of which may predispose individuals with FASD to come into contact with the criminal justice system. Without proper recognition of the diagnosis, suspects, defendants, victims, and witnesses with FASD may experience a host of challenges and obstacles during several different points-of-contact in the criminal justice system (i.e., pretrial, trial, sentencing, and post-sentencing). Forensic Scholars Today (FST) recognizes the importance of educating students and professionals on the complexities and misconceptions of FASD.
– Jerrod Brown, Editor-in-Chief