Session Abstracts and Presentations

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V&A 2016 Program at a Glance

Are Mental Health Courts a Good Idea?

The past 20 years have seen a rapid expansion of mental health courts throughout North America.  Like many policy developments and clinical practices, they proliferated in the absence of empirical data about whether they work.  Over the past few years more data on client outcomes has become available. These results have been quite consistent in showing reduced numbers of subsequent new arrests and a reduction in jail days for enrollees who graduate. Despite these results, questions can be raised as to whether these courts deflect communities from making other changes in their responses to justice-involved persons with behavioral health disorders that could have much greater impact. The rationale for this possibility will be explored along with other options.

Speaker: Henry J. Steadman, Ph.D., President, Policy Research Associates

Presentation:

Are Mental Health Courts a Good Idea?

Internet Child Exploitation Investigations

Internet Child Exploitation (ICE) investigators from the Saskatchewan ICE Unit will explain their role in protecting children from the dangers of the Internet by showcasing some of the methods and efforts they use to identify child sexual predators and hold them accountable for their criminal behaviour. This presentation will outline how the ICE Unit is set up, their mandate and focus, the scope of the problem, and what is being done to address this type of criminal behaviour. The presentation will include a case study of a local offender from the start of the investigation to conviction.

Speakers: Detective Sergeant Darren Parisien & Corporal Jared Clarke, Investigators, Saskatchewan ICE Unit

Presentation:

Internet Child Exploitation Investigations

A Historical Look at the Entire Not Criminally Responsible Population of Alberta: Recidivism and the Influence of the Swain & Winko Supreme Court Decisions

The Alberta NCR Project has sought to describe the demographics the complete population of those found to be Not Criminally Responsible/Insane in Alberta’s history. This presentation will describe the Alberta NCR population, provide data as to population based recidivism, discuss the impact of the Winko and Swain decisions on the NCR population in Alberta, discuss risk assessment/ management issues with those with Major Mental Illness, and discuss proposed future directions with the NCR population.

Speaker: Dr. Andrew Haag, Forensic Psychologist, Alberta Health Services, Clinical Lecturer, Department of Psychiatry, University of Alberta, Sessional Lecturer, Department of Psychology, University of Alberta

Presentation:

A Historical Look at the Entire Not Criminally Responsible Population of Alberta: Recidivism and the Influence of the Swain & Winko Supreme Court Decisions

A Holistic Approach to Trauma, Aggression, and Violence Utilizing the Medicine Wheel

Successful mental health engagement with Indigenous peoples remains a challenge. Dr. Holly Graham will discuss some of the clinical issues related to efficacy and cultural clashes that may impact the counselling process. Holly views her practice through a trauma informed lens, one that is holistic and grounded in the teachings of the medicine wheel with an emphasis on the physical, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual aspects of the human condition. In addition, she utilizes Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), Eye Movement Integration (EMI) and Somatic Experiencing (SE) therapies. Case examples will be discussed.

Speaker: Holly Graham, Ph.D., R.D. Psychologist (Provisional), Assistant Professor, College of Nursing, University of Saskatchewan

Presentation:

A Holistic Approach to Trauma, Aggression, and Violence Utilizing the Medicine Wheel

The Intersection of Mental Illness and Violence: CSC's Multi-Pronged Approach

This presentation will briefly outlined CSC's refined model of mental health care and collateral initiatives that support a full continuum of service delivery to offenders with mental health concerns. Key supporting activities, as outlined in the Mental Health Action Plan for Federal Offenders, include timely assessment, effective management, sound intervention, ongoing training and development, and robust governance and oversight. In describing various initiatives in place, the speaker will focus on the intersection of violence and mental illness, including current challenges and strategies to mitigate violence and address mental health needs of offenders.

Speaker: Kelley Blanchette, Ph.D., Director General, Mental Health, Correctional Service Canada

Presentation:

The Intersection of Mental Illness and Violence: CSC's Multi-Pronged Approach

Lighting Up Violence

While the nature of our work makes it practically impossible to prevent violence it is possible to reduce it. This presentation will include some practical methods and strategies for reducing the cumulative effects of long term exposure to violence for front line workers. Organizational culture and leadership will also be examined with observations based on my experiences on how we can do better when dealing with violence. Lastly because it is so caustic the negative return on trying to defend yourself from allegations of racism while doing your job will be discussed with strategies on how to deal with it.

Speaker: Sergeant (Ret.) Ernie Louttit, Author

Mainstreaming Mental Health Courts

The audience will learn about the challenges faced by the consent rationale for entry into a mental health court process and will be invited to consider whether MHCs are coercive in nature and whether there might be better alternative rationales for entry into a MHC stream. The audience will be asked to contrast the dichotomy and the uncertainty of determining consent and the possibility of utilizing advance directives in the MHCs. The audience will be introduced to the inadequacy of the legislative mandate for MHC processes and will be asked to consider whether legislative change is necessary and what that legislation might say.

Speakers: Glen Luther, LLM, LLB, & Dr. Mansfield Mela, University of Saskatchewan

Presentation:

Mainstreaming Mental Health Courts

Managing High Risk Offenders in the Community: A Multiagency, Multidisciplinary Approach

Some of the highest risk violent and sexual offenders are supervised in the community under recognizance orders issued under the auspices of Section 810 of the Criminal Code of Canada. This presentation focuses on how an Edmonton forensic mental health clinic, police, and other community organizations are collaborating to coordinate risk management with this high-risk population of offenders. Target population demographics will be described, along with practical skills for working together and with the offenders. Supervision, treatment, and responsivity principles are combined toward maximizing success for the offenders in the community.

Speaker: Dr. Debra Jellicoe, Clinical Forensic Psychologist, Forensic Assessment and Community Services, Alberta Health Services & Detective Chris Hayduk, Edmonton Police Service

Presentation:

Managing High Risk Offenders in the Community: A Multiagency, Multidisciplinary Approach

Online Child Sexual Exploitation: Learning from the Past, Preparing for the Future

The Internet has altered the way child sexual exploitation offences (for example, child pornography, luring) are committed, investigated, and prosecuted.  This medium provides access to electronically produced child sexual abuse images/videos, provides virtual meeting places for those who engage in the sexual exploitation of children, and can facilitate child luring.  These aspects have significant effects on response strategies.  Topics included: 1) an overview of Canadian government/law enforcement responses; 2) discussion of unique needs of victims/survivors; 3) the psychological health and wellness of specialists; and, 4) international awareness initiatives. Collaboration across law enforcement, academia, victim advocates, and other specialists is critical.

Speaker: Dr. Roberta Sinclair, Manager, Research & Development, RCMP, Canadian Police Centre for Missing and Exploited Children, Behavioural Science Branch

Presentation:

Online Child Sexual Exploitation: Learning from the Past, Preparing for the Future

PAWSitive Impacts: St. John Ambulance Therapy Dogs and Prisoner Health

Canada’s Correctional Investigator has identified mental health disorders, alone or in combination with alcohol abuse or drug addiction, as a “major health care and public safety challenge” (Sapers, 2014). It is well-established that trauma is a key contributor to both among Canada’s federal prisoner population. There is also growing attention to the potential for therapy dogs to assist with the support needs of individuals with mental health, addiction and trauma concerns. Animal Assisted Interventions (AAIs) are “any intervention that intentionally includes or incorporates animals as part of a therapeutic or ameliorative process or milieu” (Kruger and Serpell, 2006), and are variously offered in Correctional Service Canada institutions. This presentation raises awareness about the potential benefits of AAIs on both practice and policy levels by reflecting on the work of St. John Ambulance therapy dogs with prisoners at a federal Saskatchewan corrections facility. Particular attention will be paid to the dog’s ability to support a trauma-informed approach to prisoner wellness. Illustrations from the visits will be shared.

Speaker: Colleen Dell, Ph.D., Research Chair in Substance Abuse, Department of Sociology, University of Saskatchewan

Presentation:

PAWSitive Impacts: St. John Ambulance Therapy Dogs and Prisoner Health

Prevention, Not Prediction: The Regina Police Service's Response to Honour-Based Violence

Honour-based violence is a reality in Western countries.  The catalyst for public awareness was the quadruple honour killing in Kingston, Ontario.  Indicators, distinctive features of patriarchal beliefs, and a lack of understanding by service providers were present months prior to these murders.  This raised concerns about the effectiveness of service providers to protect those most vulnerable.  The United Nations estimates that 5,000 individuals worldwide are murdered in the name of honour each year.  These honour crimes occur in many countries, predominately in South Asia and the Middle East, but are not limited to a certain culture or religion.  A rise in immigration from these areas has Canada and other western countries confronting the appearance of honour-based violence.

The Regina Police Service has taken steps to ensure that all members acquire knowledge about and education on honour-based violence.  Members acquire an understanding of patriarchal societies and their power structure, are educated on the components of honour-based violence, including forced marriages and female genital mutilation, and the indicators and distinctive features of honour-based violence.  Members of the Service are also educated on the tools that may assist them including laws and partnering agencies.  The development of the Regina Police Service Honour-Based Violence and Forced Marriage Risk Assessment Checklist is another tool members are trained with as a reference tool for situations in which indicators of honour-based violence are present.  The Regina Police Service conducts continuous training for their members and all municipal police recruits at the Saskatchewan Police College and educates partnering organizations on honour-based violence to foster a multi-agency approach to prevention, not prediction.

Speaker: Heather Shepard, B.A. (CJ/Soc), Cultural Liaison Officer, Regina Police Services

Presentation:

The Regina Police Service's Response to Honour-Based Violence

Psychopathy and Criminal Justice

Psychopathy is an important clinical construct in the criminal justice system. As assessed by the Psychopathy Checklist-Revised (PCL-R) and its derivatives, psychopathy plays a significant role in several areas, including treatment options, security and release decisions, dangerous offender proceedings, and risk assessment. New findings in these areas will be discussed and comments made on current issues and debates concerning the use of the PCL-R, including its field reliablity.

Speaker: Robert D. Hare, Emeritus Professor of Psychology, University of British Columbia

Radicalized Offenders and CSC: Evidence-Based Correctional Management

The Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) is an integral component of the overall criminal justice spectrum in terms of addressing issues related to ideologically motivated violence. This
presentation will review recent work regarding ideologically-motivated violent extremist offenders, otherwise referred to as radicalized offenders. CSC experts will provide a
comprehensive view of radicalization in Canadian federal institutions, providing insight into the current profile of these offenders, outlining operational best practices, and illustrating how research
results have been used in the development of evidence-based policy and practice in regard to the correctional management of this unique population.

Speakers: Yvonne Stys, Research Manager, Operational Research, Research Branch, CSC, and Rick McEachran, National Project Manager, Preventive Security & Intelligence (PSI) Division, Security Branch, CSC

Presentation:

Radicalized Offenders and CSC: Evidence-Based Correctional Management

Treatment of Psychopathic Offenders: Evidence, Issues, and Controversies

Psychopathic offenders are a notoriously challenging population to treat that are often recalcitrant to change and at high risk for program noncompletion and recidivism. Although increasing support suggests that individuals with psychopathic traits can make risk-relevant changes from the “right” programs, the treatment of this client group remains controversial. This talk provides a review of the evidence and discussion of issues and controversies in the treatment of psychopathic offenders. A model and framework for the treatment of psychopathic offenders is presented to promote client retention, improve treatment gains, and reduce recidivism.

Speaker: Mark Olver, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of Psychology, University of Saskatchewan

Presentation:

Treatment of Psychopathic Offenders: Evidence, Issues, and Controversies

The Use of a Brief Mental Health Screener to Enhance the Ability of Police Officers to Identify Persons with Serious Mental Disorders

This workshop describes the process that led to the development of a new brief mental health screener (interRAI Brief Mental Health Screener -BMHS) designed to assist police officers to
better identify persons with serious mental disorders. A pilot of the instrument revealed the 14 variable algorithm used to construct the interRAI BMHS is a good predictor of who was most likely to be taken to hospital by police officers and who was most likely to be admitted. The instrument is an effective means of capturing and standardizing police officer observations laying the foundation for a more collaborative approach between the systems.

Speaker: Dr. Ron Hoffman, Assistant Professor, School of Criminology and Criminal Justice, Nipissing University, Associate Fellow, interRAI

Presentation:

The Use of a Brief Mental Health Screener to Enhance the Ability of Police Officers to Identify Persons with Serious Mental Disorders

Youth Psychopathy and Violence: Myths and Realities

The construct of psychopathy is increasingly being applied to aid in understanding violent behaviour in adolescents. Limited evidence for successful intervention with adult psychopaths highlights the importance of identifying psychopathic traits early in development and in differentiating among youth who commit violent acts. A legitimate concern, however, is the potential for misuse of scales designed to assess psychopathy in youth due to labeling and limiting access to treatment.

Speaker: Adelle Forth, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of Psychology, Carleton University

Presentation:

Youth Psychopathy and Violence: Myths and Realities