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Understanding FASD in the Criminal Justice System: A Research Update
In order to implement best practices and improve outcomes for individuals with FASD who experience contact with the criminal justice system there is a need to characterize current experiences and needs, practices, and decision-making in these cases. Dr. McLachlan’s research team will present findings from several recent studies that aim to develop this growing evidence base. We first characterize criminal justice contact experiences among adolescents and adults with FASD using data from the Canadian FASD Database. Second, we review findings from a recently completed study evaluating FASD evidence in a review of published Canadian criminal cases. Third, we describe findings from our research characterizing the FASD knowledge, practice experiences, and training needs among forensic clinicians in Canada and internationally. Finally, we present findings from a systematic review of screening tools and approaches for identifying individuals with FASD, including specifically in justice contexts. This is a 90-minute presentation and will include a discussion period following the presentation.

Aug 7, 2020 01:00 PM in Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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Dr. Kaitlyn McLachlan
Dr. Kaitlyn McLachlan is an Assistant Professor in the CPA-accredited Clinical Psychology program at the University of Guelph in Ontario. Dr. McLachlan is a Clinical Psychologist who completed graduate training (MA, PhD) with a forensic specialization at Simon Fraser University, and subsequent postdoctoral training as a Fellow with the Kids Brain Health Network with concurrent appointments in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Alberta, and the Child and Family Research Institute, Developmental Neurosciences and Child Health, at the University of British Columbia. An important aim of Dr. McLachlan’s program of research seeks to better understand and improve the experiences of individuals with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) in the criminal justice context.
Melissa Grubb
Melissa Grubb is completing her Master’s degree in the Child Clinical and Adolescent Psychology program at the University of Guelph. She has over a decade of experience working with children and adolescents with neurodevelopmental disorders. Melissa’s research interests include identifying promising practices and approaches for identifying individuals with FASD in a range of settings through the use of evidence-based screening tools and approaches, including whether eye movement control differences seen in FASD may hold promise as a biomarker with application for justice and education settings.
Katelyn Mullally
Katelyn Mullally is a student in the Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology Ph.D. program at the University of Guelph. Katelyn has a background in forensic psychology and is interested in the intersection of neurodevelopmental disorders and the criminal justice system, legal decision-making, and risk factors for adverse outcomes among youth in the criminal justice system within a range of contexts. Her dissertation will explore plea decisions, competency to plead, and risk factors for false guilty pleas among youth, including youth with FASD.