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Advocacy and support for adults living with (or suspected of living with) FASD, who are exhibiting criminal behaviour

While individuals living with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) are affected by the disorder in different ways, many of the brain injuries and disabilities that result from it can increase the likelihood of criminal involvement. Research suggests up to a quarter of inmates in federal corrections could have fetal alcohol spectrum disorder.

The Calgary John Howard Society (CJHS) has a support program for people living with FASD, with a focus on those staying at the Calgary Remand Centre. CJHS support specialists will:

  • Advocate for and support clients who are experiencing current justice system involvement
  • Refer clients for an FASD medical diagnosis and assessment
  • Support clients to apply for financial supports (e.g. Alberta Works, AISH)
  • Advocate for and coach clients to find appropriate housing
  • Coach and encourage clients to develop their own community support team

When individuals obtain long-term, trusted supports and an opportunity to reach their goals it contributes to the overall health and safety of our community.

FASD Action Hall

The FASD Action Hall (FAH) is a peer support group for individuals with FASD and their support person. We cover a wide variety of topics throughout the year, including FASD awareness/strategies, life skills, money management, nutrition/exercise, healthy relationships, emotional regulation and addictions. We also have guest speakers come in to present on these topics to facilitate further understanding. FAH runs every Thursday from 1:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. from September to June, and a hot lunch is provided.

Participation in FAH results in clients having a better understanding of FASD and their personal strengths which contributes to an independent healthy lifestyle.

How to apply

  • Call CJHS at 403-266-4566.
  • In Remand, submit a “Request for Interview” with a CJHS FASD support specialist.

Alex finds a family at CJHS

Alex has been coming to the Calgary John Howard Society (CJHS) since he was 16, when the Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) he lives with led him to legal troubles. “I’m still trying to learn how FASD affects my life.” Read more

What is Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder?

A medical diagnosis that describes the range of brain injuries, birth defects and developmental disabilities that can result when alcohol is introduced to the fetus during pregnancy.
It affects different people in different ways and is based on individual characteristics and features that may be physical, cognitive, or behavioural.

What are the possible symptoms?

> Learning and memory difficulties
> Speech and language problems
> Impulsive behaviour
> Social difficulties
> Sensory challenges
> Motor skill and physical problems
Source: Calgary Fetal Alcohol Network