WHITEHORSE—The Yukon government is committing $643,000 towards a new study to determine the prevalence of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) and other cognitive impairments among Yukon’s adult corrections population Justice Minister Mike Nixon announced today.
“This initiative is critical if we are to improve outcomes for people with FASD, cognitive or mental health disorders and/or substance use issues who are involved with the corrections system,” Nixon said.
The departments of Justice and Health and Social Services are collaborating with other partners, including the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), to implement the three-year study.
The need to better understand the number of individuals with FASD involved in Canada’s corrections system was first raised at the Access to Justice for Individuals with FASD conference in 2008, hosted jointly by the Yukon Department of Justice and Justice Canada.
Since then, Justice has been leading the research study stream and Health and Social Services has been developing an FASD framework for the territory as well as a local adult diagnostic team.
Over the past two years, the Yukon government has held stakeholder consultations and worked to establish relationships with both government agencies and non-governmental organizations involved with individuals with FASD.
A prevalence partners’ board is guiding the project, through representation from the Yukon government, Justice Canada, Correctional Services Canada, the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Society of Yukon, Yukon College and the First Nations Health and Social Development Commission.
More information on the project is available at www.justice.gov.yk.ca.