Main Article Content

Nguyen Xuan Thanh
Egon Jonsson


FASD, criminal justice, cost, canada


We reviewed literature to estimate the costs of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) in the Canadian Criminal Justice System (CJS), and to update the total costs of FASD in Canada. The results suggest FASD is costlier than previous estimates. The costs of FASD associated with the CJS are estimated at $3.9 billion a year, with $1.2 billion for police, $0. 4 billion for court, $0.5 billion for correctional services, $1.6 billion for victims, and $0.2 billion for third-party. The updated total costs of FASD in Canada are $9.7 billion a year, of which CJS accounts for 40%, healthcare 21%, education 17%, social services 13%, and others 9%.

Abstract 1244 | PDF Downloads 487


1. Abel EL, Sokol RJ. Incidence of fetal alcohol syndrome and economic impact of FAS -related anomalies. Drug and Alcohol Dependence 1987; (19): 51-70.
2. Abel EL and Sokol RJ. (1991a). A revised estimate of the economic impact of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. Recent developments in alcoholism: Volume 9, Children of alcoholics. Plenum Press, New York, pp. 117- 125.
3. Abel EL, Sokol RJ. A revised conservative estimate of the incidence of FAS and its economic impact. Alcohol Clin Exp Res 1991(b); 15:514- 524.
4. Harwood HJ, Napolitano DM. Economic implications of the Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. Alcohol Health and Research World. Fall 1985.
5. Klug M, Burd L. Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and cumulative cost savings. Neurotoxicology and Teratology 2003; 25: 763- 765.
6. Stade B, Ungar WJ, Stevens B, Beyene J, Koren G. The burden of prenatal exposure to alcohol: Measurement of cost. JFAS Int 2006;4:e5 Feb.
7. Stade B, Ali A, Bennett D, Campbell D, Johnston M, Lens C, Tr an S, Koren G. The burden of prenatal exposure to alcohol: Revised measurement of cost. Can J Clin Pharmacol 2009; 16 (1):e91- e102.
8. Thanh NX, Jonsson E . Costs of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder in Alberta, Canada. Can J Clin Pharmacol 2009; 16: e80 -e90.
9. Fuchs D, Burnside L, De Riviere L, Brownell M, Marchenski S, Mudry A, Dahl, M. (2009). Economic impact of children in care with FASD and parental alcohol issues Phase 2: Costs and service utilization of health care, special education, and child care. Ottawa a: Centre of Excellence for Child Welfare. Available at: http://www.cecw - _Economic_Impact_Phase2.pdf
10. Thanh NX, Jonsson E, Dennett L, Jacobs P (2010). Costs of FASD, In: Edward PR, Clarren S, Weinberg J and Jonsson E (Editors). Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder: Management and Policy Perspectives of FASD. Wiley -Blackwell 2010.
11. Bank of Canada (2015). Inflation Calculator. Available at on-alculator/?page_moved=1 (Accessed Feb 4, 2015).
12. Burd L, Selfridge R, Klug M, Juelson T. Fetal Alcohol Syndrome in the Canadian corrections system. J FAS Int 2003;1:e14.
13. Fast DK, Conry J, Loock CA. Identifying fetal alcohol syndrome among youth in the criminal justice system. J Dev B ehav Pediatr 1999;20(5):370- 72. 14. Murphy A, Chittenden M, and The McGeary Centre Society (2005). Time out II: A profile of BC youth in custody. Vancouver, BC: The McCreary Centre Society, 2005. Available at: (Accessed November 24, 2014).
15. Rojas EY, Gretton HM. Background, offence characteristics, and criminal outcomes of Aboriginal youth who sexually offend: A closer look at Aboriginal youth intervention needs. Sex Abuse J Res Treat 2007;19(3):257- 83.
16. MacPherson P, Chudl ey AE (2007). Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD): Screening and estimating incidence in an adult correctional population. Presented at the 2nd International Conference on Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder: Research, Policy, and Practice around the World, Victoria, BC, March 7 -10, 2007. Available at: correctional.ppt (Accessed November 24, 2014).
17. Statistics Canada. Adult and youth correctional services: Key indicators, 2008/2009 (correction). Available at : http :// - quotidien/091208/dq091208a -eng.htm (Accessed November 24, 2014).
18. Story R and Yalkin TR. Expenditure analysis of Criminal Justice in Canada. Office of the Parliamentary Budget Officer, Ottawa, Canada March 20, 2013. Available at: http://www.pbo - (Accessed November 24, 2014).
19. Zhang T. Costs of Crime in Canada, 2008. Department of Justice Canada. Available at : -pr/csj - sjc/crime/rr10_5/rr10_5.pdf (Accessed November 26, 2014).
20. Thanh NX, Jonsson E. Costs of health services utilization of people with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder by sex and age group in Alberta, Canada. J Popul Ther Clin Pharmacol 2014;21(3):e421- e430.
21. Thanh NX, Jonsson E, Salmon A, Sebastianski M. Incidence and prevalence of fetal alcohol spectrum disorder by sex and age group in Alberta, Canada. J Popul Ther Clin Pharmacol 2014;21(3):e395- e404.
22. Statistics Canada. Canada’s total population estimates. Available at - quotidien/130926/dq130926a -eng.htm?HPA (Accessed Feb. 27, 2014).