New report on ADHD in Canadian Justice and Corrections Systems

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Dear members of the Nova Scotia Barristers' Society, 

On behalf of the Centre for ADHD Awareness Canada (CADDAC), a national, non-profit organization providing leadership in awareness, education and advocacy for ADHD across Canada, I would like to present our new paper, “The Benefits of Recognizing and Treating ADHD in Canadian Justice and Corrections Systems”. We are sharing this paper with Ministries of Justice and Corrections, some Ministries of Youth, law/bar associations, and courts with the hope that increased awareness will result in a dialogue on the implementation of screening, assessment and treatment of this disorder throughout the system.

ADHD symptoms of impulsivity, along with common coexisting executive functioning impairment, and emotional dysregulation create general impairment in self-regulation. When we combine all of this with the self- medication of unrecognized symptoms through substance use, it is easy to understand how those with ADHD become at a higher risk for involvement with the criminal justice system. Implementing screening and assessment procedures within all areas of the justice system would increase the chance that those with ADHD could be flagged and receive appropriate treatment.

Early detection and treatment of ADHD would benefit offenders and society, and reduce costs to the justice system.

Heidi Bernhardt
President / Executive Director
Centre for ADHD Awareness, Canada (CADDAC)
7800 Kennedy Road Suite 303A, Markham, ON  L3R 2C7
T: 416-637-8584 F: 905-475-3232 Direct: 905-471-3524