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Provincial Court judges are among 400 participants meeting in 12 communities across Saskatchewan today to develop local strategies to deal with individuals with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) involved in the justice system. Other participants include Crown prosecutors, Legal Aid, police, probation officers, victim services staff, aboriginal court workers, community organizations and Social Services, Health, Corrections and Justice Ministry staff.

The event begins with a presentation by a lawyer from Manitoba who works exclusively with youth who have FASD. The presentation will be broadcast to 12 Provincial Court Houses in the morning using the videoconferencing capabilities of the Court. In the afternoon, local groups will work together to discuss available resources and identify gaps in how their community deals with people who have FASD or other cognitive disabilities.

Generally considered the most common cause of preventable developmental disability in Canada, Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) is caused by an individual’s mother drinking during pregnancy. The Public Health Agency of Canada estimates about 1 percent of the population is living with FASD.