This self-paced online training program on Mental Illness, Dangerousness, the Police Power, and Risk Assessment and is presented by Michael Perlin and Heather Ellis Cucolo. This course deals with the relationship between mental illness, dangerous behavior and the police power, the ability of mental health professionals to predict dangerousness, and the significance of risk assessment instruments for a variety of decisions to be made in the legal system. Participants will discover how these relationships and concepts play out in a variety of settings, including involuntary civil commitments, right to refuse treatment, insanity defense acquittee retention hearings, sex offender status hearings, sentencing cases, death penalty ‘future dangerousness’ inquiries, death penalty mitigation hearings, and Tarasoff (duty to protect) cases in civil law.
The fee for this training program is $500 and includes all materials and worksheets. In addition, case studies and other case-relevant materials are provided for training purposes. Participants are expected to comitt 20 CE hours to completing this course. Throughout the training program there will be quizzes that must be passed at 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 whose interests and focus are on expert evaluation and testimony in criminal cases involving defendants who are suffering from a mental illness or disability; mental health providers working with the legal and forensic systems; criminal justice professionals and criminologists; public defenders, assistant district attorneys and others who regularly are involved in such cases; staff of mental health and other problem-solving courts. This webinar is for beginner, intermediate, and advanced level clinicians.
Upon Completion of this course, participants should be able to:
– Describe the relationship between mental illness, dangerous behavior and the police power
– Describe the perceived and actual relationship between mental disorder and violence
– Describe how violence is assessed clinically and actuarially (structured and unstructured)
– Describe the significance of the Police Power in the commitment process.
– Describe the ability of mental health professionals to predict dangerousness
– Describe the significance of the Parens Patriae power in the commitment process.
– Describe the significance of risk assessment instruments for decision making in the legal system
– Describe extent to which the public misapprehends the relationship between mental illness and dangerousness
– Describe the significance of the MacArthur Network research.
– Describe the relationship between basic involuntary civil commitment principles and risk assessment
– Describe the significance of defining “mental illness” for the purposes of civil commitment statutes
– Describe the strengths and limitations of various assessment approaches and techniques employed by mental health professionals to assess for violence risk
– Describe how these relationships and concepts play out in a variety of settings, including involuntary civil commitments, right to refuse treatment, insanity defense acquittee retention hearings, sex offender status hearings, sentencing cases, death penalty ‘future dangerousness’ inquiries, death penalty mitigation hearings, and Tarasoff (duty to protect) cases in civil law
– Describe the significance of risk assessment instruments for a variety of decisions to be made in the legal system
About Professors Cucolo and Perlin
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 for excellent for legal professionals, clinicians, and forensic mental health professionals whose interests and focus are on expert evaluation and testimony in criminal cases involving defendants who are suffering from a mental illness or disability.
Participants will learn about the relationship between mental illness, dangerous behavior and the police power.
– Perceived and actual
– Public misapprehensions
Participants will learn about the ability of mental health professionals to predict dangerousness.
– Commitment process
– Civil commitment
– Assessment approaches
Participants will learn the significance of risk assessment instruments for a variety of decisions to be made in the legal system
– MacArthur Network research
– Parens Patriae
“Great discussion of important and relevant mental health law cases! ” -Social Worker (LCSW)
“Professors Perlin and Cucolo describe, in detail, case law and precedent related to risk assessment and dangerousness. This was a very good course with a ton of useful information. Thank you.” -Federal Public Defender (JD)
“Thank you for the important information provided in this course. I really enjoyed the case discussions and have a much better understanding of the legal issues involved in risk assessment and dangerousness assessment. ” -Psychologist (PsyD)
Continuing Education Credit
This course is a Distance Learning Home Study Training Program. To earn CE’s, you will have to complete the posttest and evaluation for this Distance Learning Home Study training program. No partial credit is available. For this course, you will need to pass the posttest with 70% correct and complete an evaluation form to earn the certificate. You can take the test as many times as necessary to pass. Participants will earn 20 CE (CEU) 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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