JRB/LIST Conference


JRB/LIST Conference
Tuesday, May 21, 2019
8:15 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
LOCATION:  CCSU's Institute of Technology & Business Development (ITBD)
185 Main Street, New Britain
FEE: $30, includes light breakfast, lunch, and parking
CEUs offered, pending approval



8:15 - 8:45 Registration
8:45 - 9:45 Welcome & Introductions
  Keynote: Joe Pedemonti, MS
  "Supporting School Avoidant Students"
10:00 - 11:15 Breakout Session I
11:20 - 12:35 Breakout Session II
12:35 - 1:15 Lunch
1:20 - 2:35 Breakout Session III
2:40 - 3:55 Breakout Session IV
4:00 Turn in Evaluations



Supporting School Avoidant Students
“It’s all about hope. Holding on to hope for our students and their families until they are strong and confident enough to hold it on their own.” 
—Barry Michelson

Keynote Speaker:  Joe Pedemonti, MS,  Educational Coordinator and Special Education Teacher at The Webb Schools
The hope that is established through our actions and the relationships we forge with our students and their families is their fuel. In turn, their success and happiness becomes ours.  Using our motivation, emotional regulation, and relationships to foster healthy habits and routines within our students.

Joe Pedemonti, MS is an Educational Coordinator and Special Education Teacher at The Webb Schools, a therapeutic day school, at the Institute of Living in Hartford.  In addition to coordinating the Attendance and Credit Recovery services for The Webb Schools, he organizes and directs their extended school year services for students. He is also a member of the Zero Suicide Champions committee and sits on the Employees’ Council Executive Board for Hartford Hospital.  Note, Mr. Pedemonti will give two breakout workshops during sessions II & III.



Children & Problem Sexual Behaviors
Breakout Sessions I & II
Presenter: Eileen Redden, MS - CATSO President and founder of Fair and Just Agency, LLC
This breakout session will start with an overview of human sexuality through the lifespan and continue on to discuss the continuum of appropriate to problem sexual behaviors.  This base of understanding for appropriate and problem behaviors will lead into a discussion of how to talk with kids about sex (without blushing) and solutions/clinical interventions for clients with problem sexual behaviors.  Finally the floor will open to general discussion and questions.  

Eileen Redden has worked in Connecticut's criminal justice system for 25 years.  Working with people convicted for crimes with a sexual component, including women and children.  Her career in Connecticut's Department of Correction included working directly with people incarcerated for sex crimes and directing the program in the prisons for 12 years.  As an advocate for fair reforms, Eileen pursued changes in the way people were labeled and treated by our criminal justice system and continues to push for sensible research-based reforms.  She was the co-Chair on the Symposium for sex offender registry reforms along with The Sentencing Commission at UConn Law School in December 2018 as part of a state-wide effect to improve the Sex Offender Registry and minimize the deleterious effects of the Registry. 

Currently, she is working with programs to enhance staff's understanding of problem sexual behaviors and increase their ability to work with clients.  She wrote the book Consent, What you need to know about sexual consent - which is an ebook formatted for smart phones so that people can access the simple and straight forward information when they need it most!

Hidden In Plain Sight - THIS WORKSHOP IS FULL
Breakout Session III
Presenter: Cristal DePietro, CAPP
Hidden in Plain Sight is a presentation for adults to raise awareness of signs that may point to risky adolescent behaviors. This program recreates a mock teenager's bedroom (or backpack) that participants can explore to identify hidden drug paraphernalia, and warning signs associated with drug or alcohol abuse by a teen. As part of the program, Prevention Specialists guide attendees, explain various substance use trends, and identify signs and symptoms to watch for. Prevention Specialists provide guidance for initiating conversations with teens about substance abuse, and local resource information. This popular program developed by CT Association of Prevention Professionals (CAPP) is available to come to your community.

Cristal DePietro is the Social Services Coordinator for Madison Youth & Family Services.  Cristal has her BA in Criminal Justice and been working in the prevention and social services fields for the last 10 years working with mental health and substance abuse issues.  It is her mission to create space and opportunities for all youth to have their voice be heard, be given the opportunity to connect with other youth and to be valued as major contributors to the changes needed in the prevention field.  Cristal worked as the Prevention Coordinator for Lymes’ Youth Services, and also for Youth and Family Services of Haddam Killingworth.  Cristal serves on the Board of the At Risk Boys Fund, as well as on the Board of CT Association of Prevention Professionals (CAPP). She is also a founding member of KEYS (Knowledgeable Empowered Youth Succeed) and hosts two Youth and Prevention based radio shows on ICRVRADIO.com

Introduction to Child Sex Trafficking
Breakout Session III
Presenter:  Investigator Courtney Desilet, East Hartford Police Department
This session will educate our community partners on the prevalence of child sex trafficking, current laws pertaining to it, warning signs and ways to respond and combat this heinous crime.  Attendees will be informed about support services available to them and to child sex trafficking victims.  Case studies will be reviewed and discussed.  Attendees will be provided relevant references and resource materials.

Courtney M. Desilet graduated the Connecticut Police Academy in April of 2011 where she was awarded the Samuel Luciano Award, for having the highest academic average in the recruit training class, and started her law enforcement career at the Avon Police Department.  In 2013 she joined the East Hartford Police Department in the Patrol Division and three years later became a Field Training Officer as an addition to her regular duties. In 2017 Courtney assumed an Investigator position.  Fervent in her desire to share knowledge with other officers, Courtney also serves as an instructor and teaches classes on Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking, CPR/First Aid, Tactical Emergency Casualty Care, Bloodborne and Airborne Pathogens, and Intoxilyzer. When she is not busy with tasks associated with her current position or instructing officers at East Hartford, Courtney conducts training classes at other police departments in Human Trafficking and has assisted detectives in receiving their certification to teach on the subject.

Over the course of her career she has continuously been recognized by the East Hartford Police Department for her self-initiated narcotic and weapon interdiction investigations. Courtney’s narcotic investigations have attributed to the large seizures of illegal narcotic substances, recovery of illegal firearms, the apprehension of several felony drug dealers, and the dismantling of dangerous drug factories. Courtney strives to improve the quality of life for the citizens of East Hartford while serving the community with pride and integrity. Courtney has also been recognized for saving the lives of human trafficking victims through her involvement in bold undercover operations at great personal risk. Through her investigations into human trafficking Courtney has committed herself to providing victim’s a voice not otherwise possible. While she describes these cases as particularly horrific, Courtney describes her human trafficking investigations involving children as being the most satisfying and rewarding cases of her career. Courtney hopes that through training and other initiatives she can continue her efforts to build awareness and combat human trafficking.

The Key to Running a Successful & Effective Juvenile Review Board in Your Community!
Breakout Session IV
Presenters:  Sgt. Mark Juhola, Montville Resident State Trooper and Barbara Lockhart, Director, Montville YSB
The JRB Chairman and JRB Case Manager from Montville, one of the busiest JRBs in the state, will share the secrets of their success.  Establishing a positive relationship between JRBs/YSBs and the Police is a crucial component for maintaining a successful & effective JRB.  This presentation will highlight the key components & best practices for JRBs including examples of successful cases and diversions, and will add to your toolbox. Montville JRB currently boasts a 94% diversion success rate, which we attribute to the dedication and professionalism of our board, family openness to the JRB process, the restorative justice philosophy & practices, and the cooperative relationship between the Montville YSB/JRB and the Montville police department which assumes the “gatekeeper” role.

Sgt. Mark Juhola is a 19 year veteran, having been assigned to Troop D, Danielson and Troop E, Montville. Sgt. Juhola is currently assigned as the town of Montville’s Resident Trooper Sergeant. Sgt. Juhola is actively involved in leading, 25 sworn Police Officers in all facets of Law enforcement within the town of Montville, from patrol, School Resource Officers, to dedicated Detectives.  Sgt. Juhola began his leadership training as he worked toward earning the rank of Eagle Scout in 1991. Attended Westfield State College earned his BA in liberal Studies, focusing on Criminal Justice, Psychology and Movement Science, in 1995. Sgt. Juhola has developed and implemented town police policy, closely supervised serious critical incidents, organized and implemented community based events. Sgt. Juhola works closely with town departments to resolve town related issues. Sgt. Juhola has been an active member of the Montville Juvenile Review Board since 2014, and serves as the primary juvenile case “gatekeeper”.

Barbara A. Lockhart, MS has been in the YSB field for over 22 years, serving as the director of Montville Youth Service Bureau in South Eastern, Connecticut. Barbara received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Connecticut College in Sociology Human Development in 1997, and a earned a Duel Master’s Degree in Human Services, Social Work and Community Organization in 2008. Barbara has been the Case Manager for the Montville Juvenile Review Board since 2011, and Co-chair of the School Community Support Team (formerly called the FWSN Board). Barbara served as a board member and officer on the Connecticut Youth Services Association for over 20 years, and currently holds the seat of Advocacy Committee Chair person.

MyPlate versus the Dollar Menu: Helping youth navigate conflicting messages about nutrition and weight
Breakout Session I
Presenter: Marlene Schwartz, Ph.D., Director of the Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity and Professor of Human Development and Family Studies at UConn
Today’s youth are growing up in an environment that makes it difficult to make healthy food choices – they are targeted by food marketers; the price of unhealthy food is lower than healthy food; and the foods served and sold in schools haven’t always been the best. At the same time, youth who are overweight are at risk of being stigmatized by peers, teachers, and family members.  The aim of this session is to review the evidence of the challenges faced by youth; learn about the policy and practice solutions that have been proposed; and work together to identify strategies to support the youth we work with in each of our roles. 

Dr. Marlene Schwartz, Ph.D. is Director of the Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity and Professor of Human Development and Family Studies at UConn. Dr. Schwartz studies how nutrition and wellness policies implemented in child care settings, schools, food banks, and local communities can improve children’s health.  Dr. Schwartz earned her Ph.D. in Psychology from Yale University in 1996. Prior to joining the Rudd Center, she served as Co-Director of the Yale Center for Eating and Weight Disorders from 1996 to 2006.

The Ohio Scales: An Overview of Utilization
Breakout Session IV
Presenter: Bonnie Daley, MSW, Diversion Coordinator, Middletown YSB
This session is geared towards those who have some experience using the Ohio Scales and will serve as an overview/refresher of utilization of the tool. Utilization of the Ohio Scales for initial assessment, treatment planning, and outcome measurement will be discussed. Supplemental Ohio Scales documents that help with analysis/"break down" of the actual assessment will be discussed to support meaningful integration of the tool into our work with young people and their families in the Youth Services Bureau system.

Bonnie Daley, MSW is the Diversion Coordinator at Middletown Youth Services Bureau (MYSB), where she has worked since September 2016. Bonnie graduated from UCONN in 2009 with an undergraduate degree in Human Development and Family Studies and from Boston University in 2019 with a master's degree in social work with a clinical focus. In her role as Diversion Coordinator, Bonnie completes youth and family assessments and provides case management for youth involved with MYSB through the Diversion system. In addition to working with youth and families individually, Bonnie also works with youth and families in the group capacity during various programs. Prior to working in her current role, Bonnie gained experience working in therapeutic foster care as a social worker and behavior specialist; and prior to that worked in early childhood education. Bonnie has experience using the Ohio Scales in therapeutic foster care, at her internship at an inpatient adolescent psychiatric hospital, and in her current role. Bonnie completed the Ohio Scales Train the Trainer in 2018.

Public Data Made Easy: Explore a data story and learn about the sources
Breakout Session IV
Presenter: Michelle Riordan-Nold, Executive Director, CT Data Collaborative
In this workshop, we explain and explore public data sources and data portals. You will learn about public data, how it's collected, and how you can use it. We will also demonstrate how at CTData, we use data to engender data-informed discussions across Connecticut.

Michelle Riordon-Nold was named Executive Director of the CT Data Collaborative in February 2014, and is responsible for executing the vision and strategy of CTData which is a user-driven, public-private partnership that educates, liberates, curates, and democratizes data for public consumption and informed decision making. Michelle holds a bachelor's degree in Mathematics from Boston College and a master's degree in public policy from the University of Chicago.  In her career, she has had the opportunity to work in all sectors of the economy – private, nonprofit, and government. Her policy interests are broad but her passion is in using data to help drive policy decision-making. She resides in Glastonbury, Connecticut with her husband and three children.

Serving LGBQ & Gender Non-conforming/Transgender Youth
Breakout Sessions I & II
Presenter: Nicole Kowal, Court Planner, CT Judicial Branch, Juvenile Residential Services
This breakout session will provide an introduction and overview of some of the definitions & pronouns providers working with youth who identify on the LGBTQ/GNCT (Lesbian, Gay, Bi-Sexual, Questioning or Gender Non-Conforming, Transgender) spectrums may use. Focus will be given to the discussion of the SOGIE (Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Expression) Data Collection initiative CT participates in, which will include an explanation of the data collected within the state and nationwide. An overview of risk factors bringing LGBQ/GNCT folks into the juvenile system will be outlined. Best practices to increase inclusivity within CT Juvenile Justice System, along with CT resources available, will also be discussed.

Nicole Kowal is a Court Planner and has been with the Judicial Branch’s Juvenile Residential Services division for 8 years; started her career as a Juvenile Detention Officer. She is the Project Coordinator for the Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, and Expression (SOGIE) Data Collection Initiative and is passionate about her work towards ensuring LGBTQI+ youth are served fairly within the juvenile justice system in Connecticut. Nicole has attended many trainings and conventions that focuses on the topics of LGBTQI+ youth during her career and she is part of the LGBTQI+ community. Nicole also works on other various projects that include bringing Restorative Justice practices into the juvenile detention facilities and is always looking to reform and make changes to further help youth in the system. Nicole has a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice and a Master of Science in National Security and Public Safety from the University of New Haven. She graduated from the Tow Youth Justice Institute’s Transforming Youth Justice: A Leadership Development Program in 2017 and has been awarded the HART Shining Star Award in 2019 for her work on combating Child Trafficking in the state of Connecticut.

Substance Misuse, Let's Talk About That
Breakout Session IV
Presenter: Ryan Tran, AmeriCorps
The session will be covering current opioid overdose data in the state of Connecticut and the United States, instruct participants in how to recognize, respond and reverse an opioid overdose, including intervening with Narcan, and how to have a conversation with youth about the misuse of substances by utilizing motivational interviewing techniques.  Additionally, Narcan kits will be distributed to participants, each kit will contain: two 4 mg Narcan doses, a small zippered pouch, gloves, a plastic sheet face shield and alcohol wipes.

Ryan Tran is currently serving a 10 month term as an AmeriCorps member with Prevention Corps at Waterbury Youth Services, Inc. The purpose of his service is to educate members in the community about the trends regarding the use of opioids. At his service site, he also assists with the recruitment of mentors and facilitates the youth council, Youth Empowerment Team. He graduated from UConn in 2017 with a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering and has recently completed his Master of Health Science in Biomedical Sciences at Quinnipiac University.

Vaping – A Youth Epidemic
Breakout Sessions I & II
Presenter: Tricia Dahl, BS, Researcher, Yale School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry
Tricia Dahl and her staff have been working for the past five years on the only federally funded research studies on Vaping/E-Cigarettes and Youth.  Ms. Dahl will review current data regarding this national epidemic among youth.  This presentation will cover information regarding the physical effects of vaping substances such as nicotine, marijuana and alcohol, and current trends involving young people.  Addiction and the effects on brain development of young people as well as other potential health effects from carcinogens taken into the lungs will be discussed.  In addition, this presentation will cover dabbing verses vaping other forms of marijuana, one of the latest and dangerous trends.  This is information every parent and educator should know.

Tricia Dahl has worked at Yale School of Medicine since 2001 conducting tobacco and alcohol research with both adolescents and adults. She has done extensive work with substance abuse and researches effective methods to treat disorders. Since 2013 she has been researching the effects of e-cigarettes on adolescent behavior and Yale is the only organization in the country doing e-cigarette research with teens.

Tricia travels throughout Connecticut educating the public, school educators and students on potential risks of adolescent vaping based on current scientific findings. The Yale Tobacco Center of Regulatory Science, recently completed a 5 year $20 million dollar study researching how flavors, sweeteners and other chemicals affect the initiation and development of addiction as well looks specifically at adolescent use. Yale has also received a new $20 million dollar grant to further continue the study on the effects of these products.

Working Collaboratively to End Youth Homelessness by 2020
Breakout Session III
Presenters: Mary Ann Haley, Deputy Director and Carl Asikainen, Youth System Coordinator at Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness
Connecticut is making great advances toward the goal of ending youth homelessness by 2020.  Partnering and collaborating with statewide agencies to expand the reach and effectiveness of coordinated access is increasingly important.  YSBs and JRBs are in vital positions to help this effort.   This presentation will highlight what the system of services for homeless and unstably housed youth consists of currently and how YSBs and JRBs are important participants in efforts regarding outreach and identification of this population to meet the goal of making homelessness rare, brief and non-recurring for all youth.          

Mary Ann (Mimi) Haley, PhD is Deputy Director of the CT Coalition to End Homelessness, and chairs several statewide taskforces including Criminal Justice and Housing and the Youth Engagement Team Initiatives. Mimi recently served on CT Commission on Criminal Justice and Housing and helped craft the report for the Commission on Equity and Opportunity. She established the YETIs, initiated the launch of the CT Single Point of Contact System for colleges and universities, launched regional intake sites for unstably housed youth, and expanded the practice of shelter diversion throughout the state. She initiated a nationally recognized project in partnership with UCLA to expand statewide youth-family mediation, with presentations to senior administration officials at Health and Human Services and national conferences on this work. She also oversees the agency’s learning collaboratives, training and technical assistance, youth work, emergency and diversion assistance funds and communications. She is a regular presenter at national conferences and has provided guidance and training to communities across the country. Prior to joining CCEH, Mimi worked on Capitol Hill, at the Peace Corps, as a professor at Fairfield University, and has twenty years experience working in youth-serving organizations in CT. Mimi attended the University of Notre Dame and completed her doctorate at NYU.

Carl Asikainen is Youth System Coordinator at CCEH and works at community level statewide to support the work of Youth Engagement Team Initiatives.  This includes overseeing the Youth Outreach and Count each January and strengthening the coordination of outreach and identification efforts and working closely with education partners at secondary and college/university levels.  Carl is also a trainer for Connecticut’s common assessment tool, the VI-SPDAT and he participates with work groups such as the statewide YETI Collaborative and Coordinated Access for Youth and Young Adults.   He started working with homeless populations in the late 90’s as an outreach worker in center city Philadelphia with Project Home and has since worked on both food security and housing issues in Pennsylvania and Connecticut.   

Working with School Avoidant Students:  Strategies for School Systems and Helping Professionals
Breakout Sessions II & III (Session II is FULL)
Presenter:  Joe Pedemonti, MS,  Educational Coordinator and Special Education Teacher at The Webb Schools
There is nothing magical about these 10 tips. In fact, many of them are basic good practice; but in our experience we find that it is difficult for school teams to consistently implement all of them – especially with students who are often absent! We also find that the “magic” is in the out-of-the-box thinking teams employ when individualizing these tips for their students. We hope to convey some of this with our examples from the trenches.

See Joe Pedemonti’s bio in keynote description.




1:20 - 2:35

- Children & Problem Sexual Behaviors

- MyPlate versus the Dollar Menu: Helping youth
navigate conflicting messages about nutrition and weight

- Serving LGBQ & Gender Non-conforming/Transgender Youth

- Vaping - A Youth Epidemic

11:20 - 12:35

- Children & Problem Sexual Behaviors

- Serving LGBQ & Gender Non-conforming/Transgender Youth

- Vaping - A Youth Epidemic

- Working with School Avoidant Students:  Strategies for School Systems and Helping Professionals


1:20 - 2:35 

- Hidden in Plain Sight

- Intro to Child Sex Trafficking

- Working Collaboratively to End Youth Homelessness by 2020

- Working with School Avoidant Students:  Strategies for School Systems and Helping Professionals




2:40 - 3:55 

- The Key to Running a Successful & Effective Juvenile Review Board in Your Community!

- Ohio Scales: An Overview of Utilization

- Public Data Made Easy: Explore a data story and learn about the sources

- Substance Misuse: Let's Talk About That



CYSA Mailing Address:  PO Box 551, Glastonbury, CT 06033


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