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The focus of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD): A Brief Introduction for the Criminal Justice Profession will be on a short history and explanation related to the overall spectrum attributed to fetal alcohol. It will touch briefly upon recognition of so called ‘red flags’; being the things that make you scratch your head and wonder about such things as: “He seems like he understands, but why is he refusing to do what needs done?”; “I don’t get it! Why are you playing dumb?”; “When are you going to learn? How many times do I have to punish you before your stop ______?” In conjunction with red flags, this introduction will touch upon what is considered and necessary in relation to a diagnosis. Yet, what often is the results when a diagnosis isn’t possible or the red flags aren’t recognized? Stemming from those results, how impactful is FASD on the justice system as a whole and what tends to differentiate FASD from other intellectual disabilities? Finally, tips of the trade and considerations related to policing, corrections, the courts, and probation will be introduced with heavy emphasis on recommendations of the American Bar Association stemming from their standing resolution in regard to Fetal Alcohol.


1. Basic understanding of what the fetal alcohol spectrum is, how it is diagnosed, and supports that can help reduce the negative impacts for persons with FASD.

2.Basic considerations for law enforcement practitioners to include such things as interrogative suggestibility, ‘red flags’ that may indicate the person may have a cognitive of neurodevelopmental disability, and considerations related to investigations which may aid in assessing overall culpability, working with victims who may impacted by FASD, and assessment of whether interrogations should continue

3. Basic considerations for corrections personnel to include such things communication, importance of routine, short and simple rules, and consideration of placement in ‘safe’ housing units

4. Basic considerations for the courts to include the emphasis on understanding as noted by the ABA, consideration of what works verse what doesn’t with sentencing and why, and the importance of simplifying terms of supervision

5. Basic considerations for support personnel to include probation/parole supervision emphasizing what works and what doesn’t; the importance of client specific emphasis; and development of supervisory/support team for increased success

Speaker – Captain Brian Holloman

Captain Brian Holloman, who has been with the Elkhart County Sheriff’s Office (ECSO) since March of 1995, is the commander of the Patrol Division. He holds a Master of Criminal Justice degree from Boston University and his undergraduate studies were completed at Ball State University where he obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice & Criminology.

Captain Holloman is the father of a son who is on the fetal alcohol spectrum and as a result, he is passionate about the need to educate others about the support necessary for those on the spectrum to have the ability to succeed in life. By recognizing the needs of those on the spectrum, through both personal and professional experiences, Captain Holloman seeks out ways to educate those willing to listen on what an affected person needs and why so that the lessons he and his son had to learn over the course of fifteen undiagnosed years can be used in the hopes of improving the life potential of others like his son.


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