Past Webinars

"The Young Brain and Justice" webinar series was funded through a grant from the Office of the Governor - Criminal Justice Division and is supported by the Texas Juvenile Probation Commission.

This fast-paced series of webinars consists of twelve 45-minute sessions that provide a foundation for understanding the links between youth development, school discipline practices, trauma-informed care, and preventable emotional and behavioral health disorders.  Recent findings from research on adolescent development, and particularly the increasing knowledge about the adolescent brain, have led to deep and growing concerns about the treatment of youth in our juvenile justice system. This series will examine three groundbreaking reports, provide an overview of the science on which they are based, and review the implications for juvenile justice professionals:

  • Reforming Juvenile Justice: A Developmental Approach
  • Guiding Principles: A Guide for Improving School Climate and Discipline
  • Preventing Mental, Emotional and Behavioral Health Disorders Among Young People

"Reforming Juvenile Justice: An Overview"
Originally aired November 18, 2014
This webinar provides an overview of the 2013 National Academy of Sciences report "Reforming Juvenile Justice: A Developmental Approach." The report outlines the goals for massive changes to the juvenile justice system at every level and across all disciplines. 
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"School Discipline and the School-to-Prison Pipeline"
Originally aired December 15, 2014
This webinar provides an overview of the key components of the 2011 "Supportive School Discipline Initiative," launched by the Department of Justice and Education, and the 2014 U.S. Department of Education's "Guiding Principles: A Guide for Improving School Climate and Discipline." The changes outlined in these documents will have a profound impact on Juvenile Justice at multiple levels, including fewer youth in detention centers, smaller probation officer caseloads, and more focus on those youth who are involved in serious offenses.
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"The Intersection of Behavioral Health & Juvenile Justice"
Originally aired January 20, 2015
Each year, more than a half million American youth are placed in juvenile detention centers, and on any given day over 60,000 reside in juvenile correctional facilities.  These same youth are diagnosed with mental, emotional and behavioral health disorders at a rate that is at least three times higher than that of youth in the general population. Now, new research has shown that: 1) youth exposed to adverse childhood experiences are at higher risk for many emotional and behavioral health disorders; 2) many of these same disorders are preventable; 3) the best place for the majority of youth with mental health disorders to be served is outside the juvenile justice system; and 4) there are evidence-based solutions that have proven to serve the needs of youth better than our current system of response. 
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"Explaining the Diagnostic & Statistical Manual (DSM) to Youth & Families"
Originally aired January 27, 2015
Studies have consistently documented that 65% to 70% of youth in contact with our juvenile justice system have a diagnosable mental, emotional or behavioral health disorder. The vast majority of youth with a formal diagnosis never know what the diagnosis means, and this is true for their parents as well. This lack of knowledge can create uncertainty, doubt and worry in both youth and parents, and can add to their sense of distrust of the "system." The lack of knowledge also interferes with youths' ability to engage in their own treatment, and their parents' ability to help them. This workshop gives you a simple way to explain the DMS to the youth you serve, and to their parents and caregivers.
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"The Brain Friendly Adult"
Originally aired February 17, 2015
This webinar outlines the basic information all adults need to have in order to be "brain-friendly."  To be brain-friendly, adults must work in concert with how the adolescent brain works. Based on the landmark longitudinal brain scan study published in 2004, the first principal of being "brain-friendly" is that the adolescent brain is different from the child's brain and the mature brain.  Join us for an overview of basic brain development with a focus on what is different about the adolescent brain.
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"Basic Needs and Behavior"
Originally Aired March 10, 2015
While there are dozens of bio-chemicals that affect behavior, there are just a few that are the most important. Understanding these chemicals, and how they act in the brain and the rest of the body, is essential in understanding behavior. A simple explanation of "cutting behaviors" is included.
Participants will learn:
What bio-chemicals are and where they are produced
The purpose of key behavioral bio-chemicals
The behaviors associated with each
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"The Basic Chemistry of Behavior"
Originally Aired March 24, 2015
While there are dozens of bio-chemicals that affect behavior, there are just a few that are the most important. Understanding these chemicals, and how they act in the brain and the rest of the body, is essential in understanding behavior. A simple explanation of “cutting behaviors” is included. 
Participants will learn: 
What bio-chemicals are and where they are produced
The purpose of key behavioral bio-chemicals
The behaviors associated with each
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"Balance & Behavior: Resilience & Self-Regulation"
Originally Aired April 28, 2015
The ability to cope with adversity requires: 1) being resilient, i.e., the ability to be flexible or emotionally and behaviorally agile when life "tips the balance." and 2) having self-regulation skills, i.e., the ability to feel uncomfortable feelings but act in pro-social ways. This session will explore: how our two behavior centers in our brain are paired with the two sides of our nervous system; how these two systems work with our two centralized message routes; and how the vital nature of our "second brain" determines our future health and well-being.
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"The Impact of Stress on the Adolescent Brain"
Originally Aired May 5, 2015
When it comes to stress, adolescents suffer a “double whammy.” Their brains are going through massive changes, which is stressful in itself. Then add the stress created by the onset of puberty, and it’s no wonder that any additional stress can be “the straw that broke the camel’s back.” This workshop provides an overview of the latest research on stress and the adolescent brain.
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"The Impact of Psychoactive Substances on the Adolescent Brain"
Originally Aired May 5, 2015
Because the adolescent brain is not finished, it can be harmed in ways that the adult brain cannot. This is especially true when it comes to exposure to psychoactive substances including alcohol, marijuana, methamphetamines and other drugs. Rather than focus on the drugs, this session focuses on the brain, and the risks to learning and development.
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"Sessions in Review"
Originally Aired May 19, 2015
This session provides a peek at just “the bottom line” of each of the previous 10 webinar sessions. This is the next to last session in our series of 12 and is designed to serve as: a  review for those who have been able to attend all the sessions to date; a catchup session for those participants who missed previous sessions; and a way to put the content of separate sessions in context with each other.
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"Teachable Moments About the Brain"
Originally Aired May 19, 2015
The final session in our series of 12 provides simple explanations of basic neuroscience and the latest research on behavior. The session is designed to prepare the participants for those “teachable moments” that one can never plan on, but that can be meaningful when they occur.
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