NCCJD seeks to engage professionals, people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) and their family members to better understand criminal justice and disability-related issues and provide information on current topics of greatest interest to them. To achieve this goal, NCCJD is offering free monthly webinars from January 2014 through August 2015. Webinars will be archived and made available 2-5 business days after the live event and will be free for two weeks following the event. Archived webinars that are more than two weeks old will cost $5.00.

NCCJD’s webinars are highly informative, easy to access and a great way to stay informed about criminal justice and disability issues. Please note all future webinars will provide closed captioning upon request. We value your feedback, and it is our goal to provide the most conducive and effective learning platform possible.

See below to learn more or sign up for an upcoming webinar. To view a past, recorded webinar, see our webinar archive.

Suspects/Offenders’ Issues Series: Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD)— A Hidden Disability

September 25, 1:30-2:30 p.m. EST
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Eileen Bisgard, J.D.,
Dawnmarie Bisgard

Criminal suspects and offenders often suffer from Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASDs), a disability which is frequently undiagnosed and yet is often the key to understanding the individual and dealing with him or her. The American Bar Association and American Academy of Pediatrics, among others, have recently passed resolutions indicating the seriousness of this condition and the importance of recognition and treatment. Research indicates that 60% of individuals with this disorder will be arrested at some point in their lives and 50% will be incarcerated or placed in a locked mental health facility. A Canadian study of youth in juvenile facilities found 40 times the expected rate of individuals with FASD.

This session will explore the reasons for these numbers as well as some strategies for appropriate intervention both before and after arrest. Dawnmarie Bisgard will describe some of the reasons for the response of individuals living with FASDs to law enforcement officers from the perspective of the affected individual. Ms. Bisgard will discuss strategies which were able to change an expected recidivism rate of 50% to 15% for youth with FASDs who were on Probation in the 17th Judicial District of Colorado during a study funded by the FASD Center for Excellence.

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Suspects/Offenders’ Issues Series: Day and Employment Opportunities for Individuals with Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities and Forensic/Sexual Offending Behaviors

October 30, 1:30-2:30 p.m. EST
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Chris Snell, Director of Specialized Employment Services (SES) at CLASS Inc.,
Dr. Paul Van AlmKerk, Clinical and Organizational Consultant to the SES program

For the last 25 years the SES program at CLASS has supported individuals in a community-based, therapeutic work setting. Currently the program supports 58 individuals, both male and female, contracted through the Massachusetts Department of Developmental Disabilities, Department of Mental Health, and Rehabilitation Commission. Individuals who are forensically involved, SORB (Sex Offender Registry Board) identified, and/or exhibit dangerous behaviors present unique challenges regarding day and employment services. CLASS is a proud chapter of the Arc, The Arc of Greater Lawrence.

CLASS’s SES program employs a person-centered, data-based treatment model to provide effective vocational training and employment opportunities for adults with developmental, cognitive, mental health, and/or SORB-related, high-risk issues. The SES program structure relies on a staffing ratio of 1 to 4 and emphasizes the therapeutic value of employment for individuals with complex life experiences, psychiatric diagnoses and behavioral challenges. The SES treatment approach incorporates a multi-tiered model of universal expectations for all individuals in the program, which includes targeted group contingencies for identified issues and individualized treatment interventions designed to address significantly challenging issues. This webinar will provide an SES program overview and the obstacles and opportunities in providing this treatment modality will be discussed.

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