TRC called for reforms to address needs of offenders with FASD, and for prevention to be made a priority
Russ Hilsher’s criminal record goes back more than a decade, to an assault charge in 2003. The 40-year-old has been in and out of jail for breaching conditions, other assaults and theft since.
On paper, Hilsher’s background tells a different story than the one the father of two talks about when he explains how he struggles to understand rules, laws and how to interact with police.
Originally from Ghost River, near the mouth of the Cheepay River in northeastern Ontario, Hilsher’s birth mother drank during her pregnancy. He was taken from her soon after and was diagnosed with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder as a baby.
As a teenager he landed in a foster home in Winnipeg and struggled to adapt to city life. Hilsher often has a wide smile on his face, but his eyes take on a serious expression when he explains how he interprets the world differently. When Hilsher was younger, if he saw something on the street he would take it. He didn’t think it was theft.
Click below to the whole story…