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 Working with Young Adult Offenders Joe Lunievicz, BA RYT Executive Director, NDRI-USA, Inc.

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Presentation on theme: " Working with Young Adult Offenders Joe Lunievicz, BA RYT Executive Director, NDRI-USA, Inc."— Presentation transcript:

1  Working with Young Adult Offenders Joe Lunievicz, BA RYT Executive Director, NDRI-USA, Inc.

2 Agenda  YA Challenges  Adolescent and Young Adult Developmental Issues  Strategies and Case Studies Working with Young Adults 2

3 Activity  What have you seen to be the goals of the young adults in your drug courts?  What have you been able to note as the influences that impact on the lives of young adult clients. Working with Young Adults 3

4 Forced Choices Exercise  Answer the questions agree/disagree  Discuss in your small group Working with Young Adults 4

5 5 “No matter how articulate the practitioner may be, the words may not be comprehended if the speaker lacks understanding of the effects of drug use on adolescent cognitive development and the individual’s ability to comprehend the court proceedings in which he/she is involved, to comply with court orders and conditions of release, and most important, to be motivated to change his/her behavior over the long term.” Cooper, Adolescent Drug Users, 2008

6 Drug Court YA challenges  Little motivation to succeed  Denial of drug abuse  Low frustration tolerance  Minimal family support  Negative peer influences  Lack of role models  High rates of trauma & victimization Working with Young Adults 6

7 These lead to…  Young adults stay in the first phase of treatment longer than other drug court participants  More court sanctions and incarcerations  Higher rate of placement in treatment facilities than level of addiction  Less positive outcomes Working with Young Adults 7

8 Review & Revision  Need for review and implementation of effective strategies with young adult population. o Redefining practitioner perspective Working with Young Adults 8

9 9 “Adolescence is the period of physical and psychological development from the onset of puberty to maturity.” American Heritage Dictionary

10 Major Developmental Shifts  Adolescence  (Early and Middle teens)  Young Adulthood  (Late teens and early twenties)  Later Adulthood  (Mid-twenties and after) Working with Young Adults 10

11 Adolescence  Abstract Thinking  Increased intensity of emotion  Increased sensation-seeking  Sensitivity to alcohol & other drugs  Changes in sleep cycle Working with Young Adults 11

12 Limitations  Right & wrong thinking  Instrumental focus  Emotional regulation Working with Young Adults 12

13 16-17 years old  More likely than adults to be  Impulsive  Aggressive  Emotionally volatile  Likely to take risks  Reactive to stress  Vulnerable to peer pressure Working with Young Adults 13

14 Young Adulthood  Greater complexity of thinking  Critical thinking  More integration of cognitive & emotional  Relationships based on shared values, mutuality  Respect for diversity  Modified risk taking  Decisions based on future consequences & impact on others Working with Young Adults 14

15 Limitations  Abstract principles  Following vs. shaping rules and roles  External vs. internal basis for decisions Working with Young Adults 15

16 Later Adulthood  Greater complexity of thinking  Shaping vs. following rules and roles  Solving ill-structured problems  Big picture thinking  Self-correction, self-evaluation  Internalized commitment of relationships and work  Evaluation of external expectations Working with Young Adults 16

17 Brain changes in Young Adulthood  Maturation of brain from back to front  Prefontal Cortex  Myelination: adding white matter  Synaptic Pruning: decreasing number of connections  Connections among regions Working with Young Adults 17

18 Source: Tapert & Schweinsburg, 2005 Working with Young Adults 18

19 Prefrontal Cortex Executive Suite  Matures last (ages for full maturity)  Calibration of risk & reward  “On second thought… ”  Problem-solving  Prioritizing  Thinking ahead  Self-evaluation  Long-term planning  Regulation of emotions Working with Young Adults 19

20 Caveats  Not automatic  Roles for both nature and nurture  Periods of equilibrium  Intermediate steps  Uneven across areas Working with Young Adults 20

21 Developmental Range  Optimal spurts  Functional gradual  Nature vs. Nurture  Developmental stage and vulnerability to environmental influences Working with Young Adults 21

22 Influences on Level of Functioning  Emotional arousal: cold cognition vs. hot cognition  Alert vs. Sleepy  Familiarity of context  Familiarity of content  Practice  Support Working with Young Adults 22

23 Individual & cultural Variation  Age, education, gender  Abuse, neglect, trauma  Race, ethnicity, sexual identity  Temperament  Family background, parenting style  Illness  Learning disabilities  Substance abuse  Ares of concentrated interest  Cultural background Working with Young Adults 23

24 Positives Influences  Challenging Old thinking  Faculty and other adult interactions  Diversity of peers  Interdisciplinary and integrative approaches  Out of classroom experience  Instruction in cognitive skills, eg critical thinking Working with Young Adults 24

25 Positive Influences  Providing support for growth  Matching level of challenge with ability  Scaffolding, balance of structure and flexibility  Safety net, monitoring  Tincture of time Working with Young Adults 25

26 Drugs and the Brain  Impact on the brain’s reward circuit (limbic system)  Pleasure = release dopamine  Drugs hijack the system and release more over a longer period of time.  Impact on the Pre-frontal Cortex Working with Young Adults 26

27 Alcohol  Adolescents with a history of alcohol use disorder may show deficits in short-term memory  10% less memory on short term verbal and non-verbal tasks  Hippocampus encodes new information into memory  Adolescents with history of alcohol abuse have smaller hippocampus volume  Most vulnerable parts of the brain associated with memory, attention, sleep, coordination and judgment. Working with Young Adults 27

28 Marijuana and THC  Hippocampus, cerebellum, basal ganglia, cerebralcortex  Interferes with learning and memory  Impacts on ability to study, learn new things, recalling recent events (short term memory)  Long term impact  inability to do complex tasks  Increased risk of psychosis  Increased of depression and anxiety Working with Young Adults 28

29  Case Studies Strategies from Denver and Seattle Working with Young Adults 29

30 Denver Adult Drug Court, CO  Situation: Evaluation showed were least successful in program  Pre-contemplators for problem smoking  Marijuana drug of choice  Entire family smoked  Lack of male role models  Limited job skills and education  Hopelessness about future  Cognitively function as adolescents Working with Young Adults 30

31 Denver Program  One dedicated probation officer  Dedicated docket began with 10 and now have 35  Everyone gets a case manager  Don’t use disease model or call it treatment or recovery  Adolescent Community Reinforcement Approach (cognitive behavioral manualized treatment protocol)  Focus on job, school, family, substance abuse  We go to them  Do home visitations – teach child safety  Meet them at Starbucks or the park Working with Young Adults 31

32 Denver Program (continued)  All case managers have cell phones for texting  Significant other involvement (CRAFT)  Train Police Officers to be mentors  Life skills groups  Tours of colleges and trade schools  Attorney talks about legal status regard to children  Athletics  Basketball with former Denver Nugget  Phoenix multi-sport (recovering addicts) weightlifting, yoga, 12-step group Working with Young Adults 32

33 Seattle WA  Young Adult track  Deliveries or possession with intent to sell  Gangs and home environment issues, trauma  Marijuana, alcohol, PCP, Spice, Oxy  Used American University for TA  2 & ½ day retreat – resources and development of new approach  Work with 1 treatment agency who works best with this age group Working with Young Adults 33

34 Seattle WA – Developmental Approach  Changed phase system from 3 to 4  Each phase has smaller segments  Within 90 period they don’t have to restart entire phase only the segment they were on  60 consecutive days of sanction free time  30 days of consecutive abstinent time  Achieve three short-term goals as per treatment plan  Treatment plan includes long and short term goals  Presentation of portfolio to judge and peers to move to next phase Working with Young Adults 34

35 Seattle WA continued  60-day treatment program in custody in local jail  MRT, drug and alcohol treatment  Step down to work-release program – structure  Housing that’s clean and sober  Then community service, volunteer work, be in school, or vocational training  Sanction grid approached differently:  Drug related get therapeutic interventions like writing assignments or community service  Punitive sanctions for behavioral problems Working with Young Adults 35

36 Seattle WA continued  Two week returns or weekly  Cognitive Behavioral Therapy  Mental Health Counseling  Life Skills, couples and family counseling  Vocational education specialist on staff Working with Young Adults 36

37 Young Adult Development References  A. Rae Simpson, The MIT Young Adult Development Project  Adult Services Plan: Serving year-olds Best Practices; Chief Probation Officers of California; 9/11/07  Successful Young Adult Development, Benson & Scales Search Institute; 12/4/05  Developmental Counseling: The Young adult Period, Lee A. Beaty Working with Young Adults 37


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