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“Jail is one of the most expensive beds we can buy in a community,” says Dr. Michelle Stewart,
associate professor of Justice Studies at the University of Regina. “We need to invest in the social
Stewart is advocating for increased support for those living with the often invisible, life-long
condition of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Disorder (FASD). She says wide-spread misunderstanding of
this condition –– and lack of appropriate community supports—have led to those living with
FASD being overrepresented in the justice system.
“But proper supports and education can help to change that,” she says.
Stewart and her team deliver this message through innovative training workshops with
frontline professionals and with policy engagement at the provincial and federal level,
mobilizing her research into recommendations to better meet the needs of those living
In February 2017, Stewart's research will directly inform a symposium at the
University of Regina that will bring together provincial policy makers and
researchers from across Canada to discuss FASD and the justice system.
In addition to her appointment to the national research team with Canada FASD
Research Network, Dr. Stewart is also the director of the Community Research
Unit, a research affiliate with the Indigenous Peoples' Health Research Centre and
a research associate with the Saskatchewan Population Health and Evaluation
Research Unit. Her work is supported by the Social Science and Humanities
Research Council, the Canada FASD Research Network, the University of Regina
and the Saskatchewan Health Research Foundation. For more information about
Stewart's FASD research project, see fasdresearchproject.com.