Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau Supports Screening Prisoners in Federal Jails for ADHD

Update: 6 years later despite repeated asks for him to follow through on his promise, Justin Trudeau, like all the other Federal Liberal Politicians who have promised to screen federal prisoners for ADHD, has broken his promise. No action taken. Please ask him to do so.

Please continually remind him and the others to keep their promises on ADHD.  And remind the media too, eh?

This is why I asked Liberal party leader Justin Trudeau the question about if he’d commit to screening federal prisoners for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

21% To 45% 0f Prisoners Have ADHD 15 Peer Reviewed Studies Show. Crime and jail are costly to society, but treatment is cheap. I used 15 peer-reviewed studies in my post because I thought the media and politicians could write off 2 or 3 but 15 would be harder.

We ADHD adults are only 5% of the population but we’re 4 to 9 times more likely to end up in jail than non ADDers. Federal, provincial and municipal jails should screen prisoners for ADHD. See If He Outgrew It, What Is He Doing in My Prison?

I’d rather governments diagnosed us before prison or before some of us self-medicate with drugs and alcohol. 20-30%+ addicts & alcoholics have ADHD studies show.

But governments & the medical bureaucracy currently refuse to properly train medical professionals to diagnose ADHD in adults and kids. They neglect and stigmatize us.

So at least we should screen people in jails. And give them comprehensive treatment, ADHD medication, (long-acting ones so they won’t abuse them), therapy, advocacy etc.

I went to a very crowded, standing room only Justin Trudeau Rally with 1,600 people Thursday, September 10th, 2015 in South Vancouver to ask him a question I asked other politicians last federal election.

@randeepssarai #rally4change with Justin Trudeau in Vancouver sep 10 2015

Photo by 

I was tweeting at the rally, and forget to take a photo:)

Here’s my 360 degree of the room before Justin Trudeau Vancouver Rally Sept 10th, 2015.

After Justin Trudeau’s speech (was a very good speech) he did the meet and greet around the entire room and I asked him this question.

“21-45% of prisoners in jail have ADHD, would you commit to screening prisoners in federal jails for ADHD?”

“Yes.” was his answer and there was no hesitation.

Thanks, Justin Trudeau, for doing the right thing and supporting screening federal prisoners for ADHD. The economic costs alone of ignoring and neglecting ADHD are huge.

A quarter of a century ago in Seattle Judge David Admire screened people convicted in his 2-3 year court for ADHD and also Learning Disabilities and gave them a choice of jail or comprehensive 14-week treatment program if convicted and if they had ADHD or LD. They got therapy, coaching, meds, advocacy etc.

The return to jail rate dropped from 68% to 29%. Vancouver’s drug court, last I checked, 25 years later still refuses to screen prisoners for ADHD. Sadly, nowhere in Canada does, as far as I know.

There is a huge need for properly trained doctors/psychiatrists/psychologists who can diagnose and treat ADHD, especially in BC. But BC Liberals killed the only public Adult ADHD clinic in BC after a year-long wait list.

BC Greens & BC Conservatives have called to reopen it but BC NDP refuses to.

 I’ve asked other federal politicians this question last election and two in this one.

List of those federal politicians who committed to screening prisoners in federal jails for ADHD

ADHD, Pete Quily, and the chilly April night Michael Ignatieff became prime minister The Georgia Straight.

Hedy Fry Liberal MP For Vancouver Centre Supports Screening Prisoners in Federal Jails for ADHD

Ujjal Dosanjh ex BC Premier, ex BC Attorney General and Ex-Liberal cabinet minister and MP For Vancouver South Supports Screening Prisoners in Federal Jails for ADHD

Sukh Dhaliwal Liberal MP For Newton North Delta Supports Screening Prisoners in Federal Jails for ADHD

Of Course. Green Party Leader Elizabeth May’s Answer To My Question Would She Support Screening Federal Prisoners For ADHD

Last federal election I asked then NDP Justice Critic, Don Davies if he’d screen for ADHD in federal prisons and he said yes. He showed he knew quite a lot about mental health & jails. Was very impressed.

At the Justin Trudeau Rally, I asked Harjit Sajjan who is the Liberal candidate for Vancouver South and a Vancouver police officer for 11 years who was a  Detective-Constable with the Gang Crime Unit specializing in organized crime, plus a Lieutenant-Colonel in the Canadian Armed Forces and a combat veteran. Harjit also support screening prisoners in federal jails for ADHD see my post.

During the federal NDP’s only debate in Vancouver East nomination race, I asked BC NDP MLA Jenny Kwan (who won the race & is now federal NDP candidate for Vancouver East) if she’d screen for ADHD in federal prisons and she said yes.

Read the excellent book ADHD and the Criminal Justice System Spinning out of Control by a former police Lieutenant for 17 years, an Adult Probation/Parole Officer for 5 years who has ADHD and is an ADHD coach with a board certified licensed clinical psychologist and professor of clinical psychology who’s a consultant on ADHD to the Illinois Criminal Justice System.

ADHD and the Criminal Justice System Spinning out of Control


Please consider asking your local federal election candidate if they’d support screening federal prisoner for ADHD (tell them about the 21-45% of prisoners who have ADHD the 15 peer reviewed studies show first) and if they say yes let me know here in the comments.

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