This self-paced course on Mental Disability Issues in Juvenile and Family Law is presented by Michael Perlin and Heather Ellis Cucolo and focuses on four important topics. First, learning why these issues are so critical to mental health professionals, advocates, lawyers and mediators whose work touches on any aspect of the family law system; Second, Considering the full range of issues related to custody (including issues specifically related to children with special needs), adoption, marriage dissolution, foster care, and domestic abuse and guardianships as they relate to persons with mental disabilities, including the special issues related to the role and scope of expert testimony; Third, Considering the full range of special issues related to juvenile commitments to psychiatric institutions, issues related to the criminal trials of juveniles with mental disabilities (including, but not limited to questions of competency and waiver), correctional facilities in which juveniles are housed, the role of problem-solving courts, and the application of international human rights principles to this area of the law; and Forth, Understand why it is important to consider the role of sanism and pretextuality in all aspects of this system, and the application of therapeutic jurisprudence to all questions.
The fee for this training program is $500 and includes all materials. In addition, case studies and other case-relevant materials are provided for training purposes. Participants are expected to be present and commit 20 hours to complete this training program. Throughout the training program, there are quizzes that must be passed with a 70% in order to advance in the course. Once the course is completed participants will complete a course evaluation and then will be able to print their certificate of completion.
Clinicians and forensic mental health professionals who may evaluate individuals and/or testify in custody, marital dissolution, adoption, foster care cases, child abuse or guardianship cases and the psychiatric commitment of juveniles, trials of juveniles in the criminal or quasi-criminal processes, the placement of juveniles in correctional institutions, questions of competency of juveniles to proceed, and questions of waiver to “adult court.” Clinical mental health professionals who may provide mental health services in such cases and mediators who may sit on hearings in such cases. This training program is appropriate for beginner, intermediate, and advanced level clinicians.
Upon completion of this course, participants should be able to:
– Describe issues related to juvenile commitments to psychiatric institutions
– Describe issues related to the criminal trials of juveniles with mental disabilities
– Describe issues related to questions of competency and waiver in juveniles with mental disabilities
– Discuss correctional facilities in which juveniles are housed
– Describe the role of problem-solving courts
– Describe the application of international human rights principles to this area of the law
– Describe why mental disability issues are so critical to mental health professionals, advocates, lawyers and mediators whose work touches on any aspect of the family law system
– Describe issues related to custody in adoption, marriage dissolution, foster care, and domestic abuse and guardianships as they relate to persons with mental disabilities
– Describe issues specifically related to children with special needs
– Describe why it is important to consider the role of sanism and pretextuality in all aspects of this system
– Describe the application of therapeutic jurisprudence to all questions
– Describe special issues related to the role and scope of expert testimony
About Professors Cucolo and Perlin
Heather Ellis Cucolo is an adjunct professor in New York Law School’s online mental disability law program, has served as Acting Director of that program, and has contributed to the development of courses within the program as well as assisted in collaboration with Asia-Pacific partners to foster international distance learning. Professor Cucolo currently teaches the Americans with Disabilities Act, Therapeutic Jurisprudence, Mental Disability Law and Sex Offenders to both law students, clinicians and other professionals.
Cucolo has spoke at the United Nations, advocating for the rights of persons with disabilities in the Asia Pacific region and has advised international attorneys on the benefits and implications of the ADA. Cucolo has published and lectured –both domestically and internationally — in the areas of mental disability law, criminal law and sex offender law. Her most recent collaboration involved expanding Michael L. Perlin’s five-volume MENTAL DISABILITY LAW: CIVIL AND CRIMINAL (2d ed.) (Lexis-Nexis, 1998-2002) into a seven-volume third edition (forthcoming 2016). As part of her ongoing advocacy as an attorney, she has represented individuals facing civil commitment under both The New Jersey Mental Hygiene Law and the New Jersey’s Sexually Violent Predators Act. During her full-time position with the New Jersey Public Defender’s office (05-10),Cucolo handled over 300 cases at trial and argued numerous appeals in the New Jersey appellate court – many of which have been published. Cucolo has been recognized as one of the premiere experts in sexual violent predator law and has counseled attorneys, judges and clinicians on law and procedure in civil commitment proceedings and issues involving persons suffering from a mental disability or illness within the criminal justice system.
Michael L. Perlin is Professor of Law Emeritus at New York Law School (NYLS), founding director of NYLS’s Online Mental Disability Law Program, and founding director of NYLS’s International Mental Disability Law Reform Project in its Justice Action Center. He is also the co-founder of Mental Disability Law and Policy Associates. He has written 31 books and nearly 300 articles on all aspects of mental disability law, many of which deal with the overlap between mental disability law and criminal law and procedure. His most recent books are MENTAL DISABILITY AND THE DEATH PENALTY: THE SHAME OF THE STATES (Rowman & Littlefield, 2013), A PRESCRIPTION FOR DIGNITY: RETHINKING CRIMINAL JUSTICE AND MENTAL DISABILITY LAW (Ashgate, 2013), SEXUALITY, DISABILITY AND THE LAW: BEYOND THE LAST FRONTIER? (with Alison J. Lynch, Esq.) (Palgrave MacMillan, 2016), and Shaming the Constitution: The Detrimental Results of Sexual Violent Predator Legislation (with Prof. Cucolo) (Temple University Press 2017) . The third edition of his multi-volume treatise, MENTAL DISABILITY LAW: CIVIL AND CRIMINAL (Lexis-Nexis Press), 1998-2002), universally seen as the standard text in the area, was published in 2016 (this edition co-authored with Prof. Cucolo) , and is updated yearly. The third edition of his casebook, Mental Disability Law: Cases and Materials (Carolina Academic Press) (co-authored with Ms. Lynch and Prof. Cucolo, was published earlier in 2017. An earlier book, THE JURISPRUDENCE OF THE INSANITY DEFENSE (Carolina Academic Press, 1995) won the Manfred Guttmacher award of the American Psychiatric Association and the American Academy of Psychiatry and Law as the best book published that year. He has been named an Honorary Lifetime President of the new International Society for Therapeutic Jurisprudence.
Before becoming a professor, Perlin was the Deputy Public Defender in charge of the Mercer County Trial Region in New Jersey, and, for eight years, was the director of the Division of Mental Health Advocacy in the NJ Department of the Public Advocate. He has represented thousands of persons with mental disabilities in individual and class actions, and has represented criminal defendants at every level from police court to the US Supreme Court (second-seating Strickland v. Washington, and representing amicus in Ake v. Oklahoma, and Colorado v. Connelly). He directed the online mental disability law program at New York Law School from 2000 to 2014, and through that program, offered 13 courses to lawyers, mental health professionals, and disability advocates. Through this program, he has also taught mental disability law courses in Japan, Nicaragua, Finland, Israel, Australia, Taiwan, New Zealand, Hong Kong, and Sweden. He has done extensive work in China with the American Bar Association’s Rule of Law—Asia office where he has conducted “Training of Trainers” workshops in Xi’an, China to teach experienced death penalty defense lawyers how to train inexperienced lawyers, employing the online distance learning methodologies used in the NYLS online program. He has also done advocacy work on behalf of persons with disabilities on every continent. In the fall semester of 2012, he served as a Fulbright Senior Specialist, teaching and consulting at the Islamic University of Jogjakarta, Indonesia. Four years earlier, also as part of the Fulbright designation, he taught in the Global Law Program at Haifa. Last year, he was elected to be co-chair of the Disability Rights Interest Group of the American.
This course is ideal for mental health professionals interested in furthering their knowledge in mental disability issues in juvenile and family law.
Participants will learn about the audiences to which these issues are critical
– Mental Health Professionals
Participants will discuss a variety of issues related to custody
– Marriage dissolution
– Foster care
– Domestic abuse
Participants will learn special issues related to juvenile commitments to psychiatric institutions
– Criminal trials of juveniles with mental disabilities
Participants will learn about the role of sanism and pretextuality and the application of therapeutic jurisprudence
– Forensic and clinical mental health professionals
– Guardianship cases
– Psychiatric commitment of Juveniles
“Professors Perlin and Cucolo are engaging and very knowledgeable in mental disability and family and juvenile law.”
“This course offers detailed case examples and relevant research in all aspects of family law.”
“The supplemental materials and readings were very helpful in integrating the course content and case examples!”
Continuing Education Credit
This Distance Learning Course is a Home Study Training Program. To earn CE’s, you will have to complete the course quizzes and evaluation for this Home Study Distance Learning Course. No partial credit is available. For this course, you will need to pass the course quizzes with 70% correct and complete a course evaluation form to earn the certificate. You can take the test as many times as necessary to pass. Participants will earn 20 CE hours for completion once they have completed these requirements. Each participant will be able to print their CE certificate immediately after completing and passing the post-test and evaluation.
Board Approvals: APA, ASWB, CPA, NBCC. Click here for state and other regional board approvals.
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