New Hampshire Alcohol & Drug Abuse Counselors Association

Dedicated to Advancing Addiction Professionals in New Hampshire

Virtual: Brain Injury and the Justice System

  • December 18, 2020
  • 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM
  • Remote via Zoom
  • 4


A 3 hour training with Melissa Vigar and Carolyn Lemsky PhD, C.Psych ABPP-CN                    

9:00 am to noon on December 18. 2020

This is a DCATT-funded Training.

This training is remote only!

PRESENTATION:  People living with brain injury, an often invisible disability, are at a high risk of involvement with the justice system.   Brain injury increases the risk for mental health and substance use difficulties,  which are themselves common risk factors for being arrested.    Simply living with cognitive impairment increases the risk of being drawn into illegal activity  or having behavior misunderstood as threatening or committing impulsive acts.   It is an unfortunate truth that more than half of all people in custody are living with the impact of brain injury.  This workshop will provide an overview of the relationship between brain injury and justice involvement and provide key strategies for recognizing and supporting people with brain injury to navigate the court system, and avoid repeated charges.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Participants will be able to describe the relationship between brain injury and involvement in the justice system;
  2. Participants will be able to list at least 3 symptoms of brain injury; and
  3. Participants will be able to apply specific strategies and will be provided with functional tools and resources to support people with brain injury as they navigate the justice system.
PRESENTERS:  Dr. Carolyn Lemsky is a board certified neuropsychologist with over 25 years of experience working in rehabilitation settings in the U.S. and Canada. For the past 20 years she has been the Clinical Director at Community Head Injury Resource Services of Toronto. She is also the director of the Substance Use and Brain Injury (SUBI) Bridging Project, a research and knowledge transfer initiative funded by the Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation. SUBI training and clinical materials have been used internationally to prepare addictions and mental health workers to accommodate the needs of people living with acquired brain injury. She has provided training and consultation across the US and Canada. In addition to frequent conference presentations,  Dr. Lemsky has contributed book chapters and articles to the neuropsychology and brain injury literature.

      Melissa Vigar is a Registered Social Worker and the Executive Director of the Brain Injury Society.  She has worked in the field of brain injury for almost twenty years, supporting individuals and families in both the non-profit and private sector.  Melissa has overseen the design and implementation of several ABI community-based programs that focus on community integration, poverty reduction, resourcing and support coordination.  She sits on the Toronto ABI Network Advisory Committee, is the Civilian Co-Chair of the Toronto Police Disabilities Consultative Committee and is the co-chair of the Ontario Brain Injury Association’s Advisory Committee.

      Registration Fee:    Free to NH drug court providers; others may attend as space is available for a $40 registration fee;   *NBCC add $5.  For registration information contact:  603-225-7060

      3 Contact Hours Available

      Certified Prevention Specialist Domains:  6
      LADC/MLADC Categories of Competence:  14-18
      CRSW Performance Domains:  4
      NBCC: LICSW/L-MFT/LCMHC (Category 1) & Psychologist Category A
      NH Alcohol & Drug Abuse Counselors Association has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider. ACEP No 6754. Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. NHADACA is solely responsible for all aspects of the program.


      This project was supported by Grant No. 2019-DC-BX-0017 awarded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance. The Bureau of Justice Assistance is a component of the Department of Justice's Office of Justice Programs, which also includes the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the National Institute of Justice, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, the Office for Victims of Crime, and the SMART Office. Points of view or opinions in this document are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the U.S. Department of Justice.

      be able to apply specific strategies and will be provided with functional tools and resources to support people with brain injury as they navigate the justice system.

      This training is financed under a contract with the State of NH, Department of Health and Human Services, with funds provided in part by the State of NH and/or such funding sources as were available or required, e.g., the United States Department of Health and Human Services.

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