Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder and Firesetting Behaviors: A Guide for Criminal Justice, Fire, and Forensic Professionals

Jerrod Brown, Cody Charette, Anthony Wartnik, Don Porth, Kathi Osmonson


Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder conditions involve lifelong disabilities caused by prenatal alcohol exposure. They encompass a host of deficits that impair adaptive, cognitive, emotional, and social functioning. Individuals with these deficits are at increased risk of entering the criminal justice system. The purpose of this article is to inform criminal justice and fire professionals about traits of the disorders as they relate to fire prevention and safety. Awareness of the impaired cognitive and adaptive functioning of this population may assist during interviews in the firesetting context. Understanding this disorder and the way individuals with it learn and process information enables professionals to reduce firesetting-setting behaviors within this population.

Keywords: Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD), firesetting, interventions, safety 

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