The Efficacy of Programming for FASD Youth Incarcerated in Manitoba: Exploring The Perceptions of Service Providers

Edwards, Carmen Cairns
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Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research, University of Regina

Youth living with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) have a 60% risk of being charged and/or convicted of a criminal offence. However, existing research has shown that with effective targeted interventions, youth can disengage from involvement with the criminal justice system. This thesis examines the effectiveness of current programming initiatives for FASD youth incarcerated in Manitoba, where the disorder is a pressing social and economic problem. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with youth correctional service staff at the two closed-custody youth facilities in the province in order to investigate the efficacy of existing programs for this client group. Through these interviews, participants provided insight into the efficacy of services for incarcerated FASD youth in Manitoba. Overall, it was reported that positive strides have taken place over the past number of years within youth corrections in the province. However, while progress has certainly been made, participants also identified numerous barriers that currently exist and hinder the effectiveness of the services and supports provided to incarcerated FASD youth. Gaps such as lacks in diagnostic capacity, resources, adequate programming, communication, and staff training suggest that there is still a lot of work to be done in order to make services for this client group as effective as possible. It is expected that knowledge gathered through this research will provide new insight to policy makers and program providers in order to improve services for this client group. Ideally, Manitoba Justice will be able to use this valuable policy-related knowledge in order to influence positive change for incarcerated FASD youth.

A Thesis Submitted to the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Arts in Justice Studies, University of Regina. vi, 149 p.