Mental Health in Corrections Conference – 2014




The school of professional psychology at Forest Institute and new partner Burrell Behavioral Health are pleased to announce the program for its annual Mental Health in Corrections Conference. This year’s conference will bring together a diverse group of individuals dedicated to helping persons involved with the criminal justice system, namely offenders and their families. A wide variety of services are needed to help with the reentry process, including healthcare, housing, employment, resources provided by the faith community and many others.

This year we are pleased to bring the conference for the first time ever to our home. It will be held April 10-12, 2014 at the University Plaza Hotel in Springfield, Missouri. This MHCC is for anyone interested in providing care for individuals and families involved with and impacted by the criminal justice system. We endeavor to bring together the many entities working to help the incarcerated, formerly incarcerated, and their families achieve successful reentry.

Attendees to the MHCC include mental health and healthcare professionals, attorneys, correctional staff, administrators, substance abuse specialists, and representatives of faith-based organizations working in a criminal justice setting. Graduate students preparing for a career in the area of corrections are also frequent participants.

The Mental Health in Corrections Conference has grown steadily over the past 20 years and we are confident that the MHCC 2014 will continue this trend. MHCC is one of the pre-eminent national conferences devoted to correctional mental health and it is our belief and hope that 2014 will be both exciting and educational.

In addition to the conference, half and full day, pre-conference workshops will be available on Thursday, April 10th. Don’t miss this opportunity to join with many other providers in the criminal justice system for education, networking and fellowship.


Jennifer L. Baker, PsyD, LMFT

conference director president

Mark Skrade, PsyD

forest institute president

Todd Schaible, PhD

CEO, burrell




Juried Poster Presentations – Award Eligible

1. Adaptive Functioning in Restrictive Settings: A Whole New Ball Game
Christine Biddle, MA & Jose Vega, PhD Colorado Mental Health Institute at Pueblo
Rachel Fazio, PsyD Neuropsychology of New Mexico

2. Culture Change: Installing Mental Health Initiatives in a Correctional Environment
Chad Brownfield & Leanne Eichinger, Iowa Medical and Classification Center

3. Mental Health Treatment Program for Death Row Inmates
Autumn Dolle, The Chicago School of Professional Psychology

4. Treatment of Inmates Suffering from Serious Mental Illness in Segregation
Matt Ensing, The Chicago School of Professional Psychology

5. How Relationships Affect Offenders and Ex-Offenders
Jennifer Halpin & Maranda Upton, The School of Professional Psychology at Forest Institute

6. Officer Training on the Effects of Isolation for Mentally Ill
Emily Hancock, The Chicago School of Professional Psychology

7. Treatment of Juvenile Offenders with Substance Abuse – JOSA
Jennifer Kuzmicki, The Chicago School of Professional Psychology

8. Some Hands Heal: Program Introducing Massage Therapy for Incarcerated Females
Carrie Ruth McIntyre, The Chicago School of Professional Psychology

9. Do Visible Tattoos Lead to a Guilty Verdict?
Jessica Nilson, The School of Professional Psychology at Forest Institute

10. Post-Release Primary Care Utilization of Inmates: A Population Ignored
Dr. Stacy Ogbeide, Salud Family Health Centers, Ft. Lupton, CO & Hannah Harris, The School of Professional Psychology at Forest Institute

11. Sex Crimes and TBI: Are They Connected?
Blythe Rolow, The School of Professional Psychology at Forest Institute

12. Experiences of Incarcerated Veterans: A Qualitative Study – Preliminary Results
Uma Sankaram, MA, MS, Pacific University, School of Professional Psychology

13. The Impact of Assertiveness on Recidivism
Maranda Upton, The School of Professional Psychology at Forest Institute

14. Unqueering Transgender: Interacting with Inmates Diagnosed with Gender Identity Disorder
Jeffrey M. Washelesky, The Chicago School of Professional Psychology

15. Staff Training on Mentally Ill Offenders in Corrections
Nicole A. Rodak, The Chicago School of Professional Psychology


Who Should Attend:

Anyone working with the criminal justice system, especially those focused on reentry, will find this conference addressing their concerns. This includes mental health and healthcare professionals, attorneys, probation officers, social workers, chaplains, administrators, volunteers, students, substance abuse specialists, law enforcement officers, and representatives of faith-based organizations.

Learning Objectives:

At the end of this conference, participants will:

  • Identify treatment needs and approaches focused on correctional and reentry concerns for a broad base of persons involved with the criminal justice system.
  • Recognize and develop new resources for providers working with a correctional population.
  • Evaluate new and relevant research for these correctional populations.

Continuing Education Credits:

The School of Professional Psychology at Forest Institute will grant continuing education credits for hours attended. The School of Professional Psychology at Forest Institute is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. Forest Institute maintains responsibility for the program and its content. Up to 20 continuing education credits will be available for the conference, April 10 through April 12, 2014. Credit will be given only for workshops attended. Six continuing education credits will be granted for participants who attend a full-day pre-conference workshop
on April 10; three CEs will be awarded for a half-day pre-conference.

Conference Location:

University Plaza Hotel, 333 S. John Q Hammons Pkwy., Springfield, MO 65806

• Easy and convenient parking with a parking garage across the street.
• Conference is within walking distance from downtown Springfield and Missouri State University.

Hotel Reservations

The room block for this conference has been filled. Please call the hotel reservation desk to determine if they have had any cancellations for the Mental Health and Corrections Conference (417) 864.7333.

If not, the Holiday Inn Express and Suites is just a short block away, and has a block of rooms reserved for this conference. Please call them at 417.862.0070 to make your reservation. Mention the Mental Health and Corrections Conference to receive your discounted rate of $89 per night.


Students who want to reduce costs by sharing a room with other students should contact Gabby Lampe (

Included in Your Registration:

Conference registration fees include Thursday evening’s opening plenary and reception following, two days of educational programming, CE credits where applicable, appropriate educational materials, admittance to the exhibit area, lunch on Friday & Saturday, and beverage breaks.

Thursday Opening Presentation & Reception:

The MHCC opens on Thursday evening with a presentation by Ellis McSwain, Chairman of Missouri’s Probation and Parole Board. Following the presentation by Director McSwain, join us for a reception of hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar. During this networking opportunity, make sure to view the exhibits and juried poster presentations.

Choose from one of the Pre-Conference Workshops

Thursday, April 10, 2014 (8:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.)

101 Sometimes They Don’t Come Back: Cognitions of Recidivism and Desistance

(HALF-DAY WORKSHOP, 8:30 – 11:30 am) – Duane Cummins, PhD, CCJP, SQP

This session explores the lived experience of non-recidivating, as well as recidivating, offenders and identifies five re-current themes in the experience of those offenders who do not return to prison. Research identifying cognitive dynamics consistent among these two populations is explored, as well as a practical application method to utilize the information in a variety of interventions. Additionally, developing grounded theory on desistence from crime is introduced.

Duane Cummins, PhD, CCJP, SQP is the Director of the Substance Abuse Treatment Programming, Gateway Foundation at Ozark Correctional Center, Fordland, MO.


102 – How Ex-Offenders Become the Next Offenders: Reentry and Recidivism

(HALF-DAY WORKSHOP, 1:00 – 4:00 pm)
Anne Frost, MS, LPC, Clarity Recovery & Wellness, Springfield, MO

Betsy Sandbothe, BA-CJA, Social Services Coordinator, Alpha House, Springfield, MO

Carmen May, Workforce Development Professional, Springfield, MO

Ninety-five percent of the over 1.5 million incarcerated individuals in the United States will eventually return to the community. Of those returning, approximately 65% will reoffend and return to prison within 3 years of release. Communities across the country are affected as victims, as taxpayers, family members, or through increased need for community resources. Research on social control theory suggests that social bonds serve to restrain an individual’s motivation to engage in criminal behavior. A woven community of agencies, comprised of individuals invested in reentry, can mend a social circle broken by years of incarceration and deviance. This type of community collaboration, which attends to the multifaceted nature of recidivism, can decrease reoffending. This workshop will offer an overview of the efforts that are currently in place in Springfield, MO to help break the cycle of incarceration, reentry, and recidivism. Through collaborative efforts of various agencies in this community, the work group Reentry and Resources (R&R) was created. This component of the presentation will introduce that team and discuss its impact on successful reentry.


103 – “Hot Potato: A kid’s Game Now Played by Educated Adults (With Deadly Results)”

(ALL DAY WORKSHOP) – Joseph A. Grillo, PsyD

In this workshop, Dr. Grillo explores a number of themes which have spontaneously arisen during his work with hospitals, correctional institutions, and community health centers as part of his work conducting Risk Assessments. During the first portion of this workshop, Dr Grillo will discuss the process of incarceration and how this can impact all areas of the “mental health and medical community.” In the second part of this workshop, Dr. Grillo will present his hypothesis of working with multiple agencies, and how “liability” has increased as a byproduct of inmate transition to the community. The third portion of the workshop will be skill- based, assisting practitioners in uncovering and protecting themselves from “deception” at the hands of other institutions (hospitals, correctional institutions, community health centers). Communication skills will be discussed, along with interviewing, emotional intelligence, and the use of micro-expressions.

Joseph A. Grillo, PsyD, is a Clinical and Forensic Psychologist in Massachusetts and Rhode Island.


104 – Motivational Interviewing: Applying Skills to Everyday Practice

(ALL DAY WORKSHOP) – Jennifer Bartlett, MA, LPC, NCC

This workshop will provide an overview of the basic concepts of Motivational Interviewing (MI), an evidence-based counseling approach. Motivational Interviewing focuses on exploring and resolving ambivalence and centers on motivational processes within the individual that facilitate change. The method differs from more “coercive” or externally-driven methods for motivating change, as it does not impose change (that may be inconsistent with the persons’ own values, beliefs or wishes); but rather supports change in a manner congruent with the person’s own values and concerns. Participants will receive an introduction to the fundamentals of Motivational Interviewing including: theory and rationale, a review of the three key elements of motivational interviewing, understanding the four distinct principles that guide motivational interviewing, and basic strategies for encouraging change.

Jennifer Bartlett, MA, LPC, NCC is a psychotherapist in private practice and is an adjunct instructor for the School of Professional Psychology at Forest Institute.


Concurrent Workshops

Friday, April 11, 2014 – 10:00 – 11:30 a.m.

201 – Evidence-Based Sex Offender Treatment: Applying the Responsivity Principle

Seth Wescott, MS, LMLP, Clinical Associates, P.A. Sex Offender Treatment Program Director
Bruce Cappo, PhD, ABPP, Clinical Associates, P.A.

Sex offender treatment has evolved through the years and research has taught us “what works” with a population once thought to have little potential for positive outcome. Evidence-based practices have led most sex offender treatment providers away from traditional relapse-prevention models in favor of more individualized treatment based on risk, need, and responsivity factors. This presentation will highlight the success of the Clinical Associates Sex Offender Treatment Program as it relates to treatment outcomes within Kansas Correctional Facilities. The data presented will span the first 2 ½ years of the program, and will include a discussion of the most common responsivity issues, when such issues are first identified, and effective therapeutic ways of managing those issues.


202 Throwing Away the Lock: PCC’s Reintegration Program

Nena L. Kircher, PsyD SVP Psychologist, MHM Services Inc/Missouri Department of Corrections

The Potosi Correctional Center Reintegration Unit addresses the mental health needs of offenders who have demonstrated incredibly violent behaviors while incarcerated. This program assists these offenders in obtaining skills to transition to the least restrictive environment. In a three-year period these offenders collectively acquired 62 violations for assaultive behavior and 95 for sexual misconduct. Since assignment to the unit, there have been six assaultive violations and three sexual misconduct violations.


203 Doing Time on THIS Side of the Wall: Ways to Assist with Reentry

Joseph A. Grillo, PsyD Clinical and Forensic Psychologist, Massachusetts, Rhode Island

In this workshop, Dr. Grillo explores a number of themes which have arisen during his work with offenders who have been court ordered for mental health treatment as part of the terms of their federal and state probation. In the first part of this workshop, Dr. Grillo will discuss some basic factors associated with the offender’s world prior to, and then during, their incarceration experience. In the second part of this workshop, Dr. Grillo will present his “hypothesis for bridging the gap between the therapist and offender” while paying attention to commonalities that naturally exist between the two. Then, the struggle of “making it on the outside” will be addressed, highlighting the inherent struggles that exist in being alive in the world today. Finally, the concept of “Doing Time on This Side of the Wall” will be presented, and ways to adapt this to the offender’s individual situation will be addressed.


1:15 – 2:45 p.m.

301 Current Evolution of Sex Offender Assessment and Treatment – Part 1

Amy L. Griffith, PhD Clinical Director and SVP Psychologist, Missouri Sex Offender Program (MoSOP); MHM Services, Inc.

Steven Pfister, LPC, Assistant Program Director, Missouri Sex Offender Program (MoSOP); MHM Services, Inc.

This workshop will provide an overview of the most current research literature on sex offender treatment and assessment, perhaps in contrast to popular perception. Particular attention will be paid to emerging models of treatment, the identification of risk factors most closely related to sexual recidivism, empirically-supported tools for risk assessment of recidivism, and data on recidivism rates for sex offenders.


302 Use of Humor in Prison Therapy

Joseph A. Grillo, PsyD Clinical and Forensic Psychologist, Massachusetts, Rhode Island

Providing mental health services in correctional facilities is a daunting task. While mental health professionals are trained to be sensitive, warm and empathic, such a stance is sometimes difficult to maintain in a harsh prison environment. In this presentation, Dr. Grillo discusses the science of humor, as well as how humor serves to be a coping mechanism for both staff and inmates. Additionally, the use of humor as a therapeutic intervention will be discussed, especially as individual’s transition to the outside world.


303 Connect-Immunity: Creating and Managing a Health Community Context for Reentry/Recovery

Ted Strader, MS, Executive Director, COPES, Louisville, Kentucky

The Creating Lasting Family Connections® Fatherhood Program has achieved tremendous results serving reentry populations who participated in the Kentucky Department of Corrections’ Therapeutic Community substance abuse treatment program prior to their release. This workshop will focus on a discussion of key elements helpful in developing effective reentry and recovery support programs in local communities. A key element of the successful Creating Lasting Family Connections® approach involves the creation of ongoing Joint Intervention Meetings (JIMs). The JIM is a local monthly meeting for Corrections officials, representatives from Probation and Parole, social service clinicians and other local reentry services providers in which the participants address specific, proactive steps to remove reentry related barriers for the most at-risk local reentry program participants.


3:00 – 4:30 p.m.

401 Current Evolution of Sex Offender Assessment and Treatment – Part 2

Amy L. Griffith, PhD Clinical Director, SVP Psychologist, Missouri Sex Offender Program (MoSOP); MHM Services, Inc.

Steven Pfister, LPC, Assistant Program Director, Missouri Sex Offender Program (MoSOP); MHM Services, Inc.

This workshop is a continuation of session #301. See description above.


402 Traumatic Brain Injury, Psychological Disorders & Criminal Behavior: A Childhood Problem?

Blythe Rolow, MA, The School of Professional Psychology at Forest Institute

This presentation will discuss common links between traumatic brain injuries, psychological disorders, and criminal behavior. The focus will be on children with TBIs. Additionally, it will discuss whether or not certain personality types are more likely to suffer from one to all three of these problems within their lifetime. Lastly, a discussion will be ahead about early risk factors and treatment targets that can prevent a criminal lifestyle after a TBI.


403 Long-Term Substance Abuse Strategies/Initiatives and Improved Outcomes for Reentering Citizens

Halbert Sullivan, President/Chief Executive Officer, Fathers Support Center, St. Louis, MO

Charles L. Barnes Jr., Dir. of Employment Placement/Reentry Projects, Fathers Support Center, St. Louis, MO

This workshop will explore the implementation of a coordinated approach designed to combine transition planning in the correctional institution (screening and assessment of substance use and/or co-occurring mental disorders and coordination of continued care from institution to community) with effective community-based treatment, recovery and reentry-related services to break the cycle of criminal behavior, alcohol or drug use and incarceration or other penalties. Gain understanding of the difficulty of case management and job search for the ex-offender and learn tips to gaining employment for these clients.


Saturday, April 12, 2014

10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

501 The Collegiate Model for Corrections-Based Treatment

Duane Cummins, PhD, CCJP, SQP Gateway Foundation at Ozark Correctional Center

This session explores the creation of a collegiate scheduling model at the Ozark Correctional Center. This unique model of treatment service delivery incorporates the experiential dynamics of university attendance into the provision of substance abuse treatment services within a prison based therapeutic community.


502 Coloring Outside the Lines: Using Creative Therapies with Difficult Clients

Nena L. Kircher, PsyD SVP Psychologist, MHM Services Inc/Missouri Department of Corrections

Justin Ream, LPC, Social Rehabilitation Unit Program Coordinator – FCC, MHM Services Inc

This presentation will provide a review of the literature related to creative therapies (art, music, and cinema) and case examples of outside the box application of these techniques in working with difficult clients in the correctional environment. Case examples will highlight using these techniques with offenders with severe and persistent mental illness and/or psychopathic traits.


503 Why is Reentry So Difficult? The Role of Implicit Cognitions

Richard Althouse, PhD, Institute of Behavioral Science, Law, and Public Policy
Chair, Practice Standards Committee: American Association for Correctional and Forensic Psychology
Chairman of the Board of the International Association for Correctional and Forensic Psychology

Implicit cognitions—those acquired cognitions outside one’s awareness—play a major but secret role in the decisions we make in our personal and professional lives. A normal process of brain function, implicit cognitions unconsciously influence our perceptions, emotional and cognitive reactions, and behaviors, in response to life events. This session will introduce the relatively new subject of implicit cognitions, how they function in the criminal justice system, particularly in regard to the reentry process. Understanding implicit cognitions will help attendees better understand common barriers to reentry and how to address them.


1:45 – 3:15 p.m.

601 Juvenile Sex Offenders: Perceptions and Mental Health Consequences of Registration and Notification Laws

Nicole Osborn, MA, School of Professional Psychology at Forest Institute

Valerie Hooper, MEd, School of Professional Psychology at Forest Institute

Recent changes in Missouri law have sparked debates regarding the efficacy of registration and notification laws as they apply to juvenile sex offenders. One percent of those arrested are for sex offenses. Juveniles make up 20 percent of those who are arrested for sexual offenses making this is a significant issue. In order to best serve the juvenile sex offender population one must understand the laws and multiple perceptions surrounding juvenile sex offenders.


602 The Correctional Mental Health Service Model

Robert J. Powitzky, PhD, Former Chief Mental Health Officer of the Oklahoma Department of Corrections

This workshop will follow up the discussion started by Dr. Robert Powitzky in his plenary presentation: “Correctional Mental Health: Aberration or Specialization?” The delivery of mental health services in a correctional setting represents a distinct mental health service specialty with its own unique best practices and evidenced-based programs in addition to—not opposed to—those practices, ethical standards, and goals shared by other mental health specialties, such as community mental health and private practice. The most effective mental health services delivery system within correctional settings is a specialized model (“The Tri-Axial Model”) that incorporates research and certain best practices from mental health, substance abuse and criminogenic treatment models unique to the correctional setting, the appropriate combination of which will produce a distinctive, distinguishable mental health services delivery system called correctional mental health services.


603 The Affordable Care Act & Its Impact on Behavioral Health and Reentry

Mark C. Fleming, PhD, LP, LPCMH, CRC, HSP, CCHP-MH, Regional Vice President for Behavioral Health

The Affordable Care Act was developed with the hope of expanding health coverage, containing rising health care costs, and improving health care delivery systems. Various provisions of the Affordable care Act have implications for those in the criminal justice system. With successful implementation of the Affordable Care Act, there is a potential to decrease crime, lower recidivism rates, and decrease criminal justice costs, while simultaneously improving the health and safety of communities. The ACA is the potential to have a large impact on the reentry process. With the expansion of Medicaid combined with the emphasis of parity between physical and behavioral health, the need for behavioral health workers and reentry coordinators in the criminal system to understand the impact and influence of the ACA is critical. This presentation will highlight key components of the Affordable Care Act, explain the language around parity and discuss the prevalence of those with a mental health diagnosis in jails and prisons who will benefit from the Affordable Care Act. The presentation will end with suggestions for recreating a reentry program that is in line with the Affordable care Act.

MHCC Presenters and Topics – April 10, 11 and 12, 2014

Plenary Speakers

OPENING PLENARY: Rehabilitative Services and Probation and Parole: Why Collaboration is Critical (Ellis McSwain)

Thursday Evening

This session will give an overview of why a collaborative effort is critical between the medical, mental health and substance abuse treatment providers and the Division of Probation and Parole. Rehabilitative services are not only provided to clients during their incarceration but it is Probation and Parole’s responsibility to ensure that those who need treatment have access to receive it. It is even more critical when a parolee is released from prison and communication has not occurred between the providers and the Probation and Parole staff so that continuity of care is ensured. Without good communication and collaboration, we are not doing our jobs in promoting offender success.


Ellis McSwain

Ellis McSwain is the Chairman of the Board of Probation and Parole for the State of Missouri and has served in that capacity since February 2, 2010. He has served on the Board since September 2009 as Board Member appointed by Governor Jay Nixon. The Chairman is the chief administrative officer of the Division of Probation and Parole and also serves as administrator of the Interstate Compact for the supervision of parolees and probationers.

Mr. McSwain began his career with the Missouri Department of Corrections in August 1980 as a Probation and Parole Officer in Hannibal. He has held various positions within the Department, including Caseworker, Functional Unit Manager, Assistant Superintendent, Associate Superintendent, and Warden. In addition to the Hannibal Parole Office, Mr. McSwain has worked at the Missouri State Penitentiary , Renz Correctional Center, Western Missouri Correctional Center, Tipton Correctional Center, Boonville Correctional Center, Fulton Correctional Center and the Algoa Correctional Center. From November 1992 until September 1999, Mr. McSwain was employed by A.C.T. Corporation – first as Program Director at Reality House Substance Abuse Treatment Facility in Daytona Beach, FL, then promoting to Director of Criminal Justice and Substance Abuse Services. Mr. McSwain returned to Missouri Department of Corrections in June 2001.

What’s Wrong with Maintaining Status Quo

Thursday Evening—Following Plenary

Members of the 2014 MHCC Advisory Board will discuss barriers, challenges, trends and issues related to positive changes in serving correctional and reentry populations. There will be time for Q&A from attendees.

How Connect-Immunity is Upsetting the Status Quo! (Ted Strader)

Friday Morning

What is the status quo in the corrections business? High rates of incarceration, high costs for incarceration, an ever increasing need for substance abuse and mental health services, followed by high rates of recidivism. If this sounds familiar, it must also sound traumatic for all concerned corrections staff, prisoners and families, and taxpayers at large. In this plenary address, Mr. Strader will describe how the Connect-Immunity process for healthy relationships creates positive change. The Connect-Immunity process has repeatedly demonstrated published research results in achieving positive change at the individual, family, institutional and community levels across the following fields of service:

• Substance abuse prevention, treatment and recovery,
• HIV prevention,
• Correctional, reentry care and prison recidivism,
• Personal and family strengthening,
• Fatherhood, and
• Marriage enhancement programs


Ted N. Strader, MS

Ted Strader, MS is the Executive Director of COPES, Inc. and the Managing Partner of the Resilient Futures Network, LLC. He is a proud husband and father and a nationally recognized author, curriculum developer, trainer, motivational speaker, and publisher on topics related to fatherhood and marriage programming, parenting skills, family strengthening, and the prevention of substance abuse, violence and prison recidivism. His highly acclaimed Creating Lasting Family Connections® curriculum series is used throughout the U.S. and several other countries. This program holds three separate listings on the National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices (NREPP) and is recognized on several other national and international best practice lists. In his book, “Building Healthy Individuals, Families, and Communities: Creating Lasting Connections”, published in 2000, he introduced the concept of “Connect-Immunity”. Strader credits his theory of “Connect-Immunity” for his success in designing effective programs across multiple fields of study leading to numerous published articles in peer reviewed journals and inclusion on best practice lists. Mr. Strader was recently names one of the Top 100 Leaders in the U.S. by the John C. Maxwell Leadership Team.

Looking at Men as Victims of Trauma (David Pate, PhD)

Friday Lunch

Men are not often seen as victims of trauma, but that experience affects them more than we know. This talk will discuss current research being conducted in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and St. Louis, Missouri on African American males and their Adverse Childhood Experiences. It will explore the intersection of the experiences of trauma with future employment and potential incarceration. Implications for policy and strategic intervention will be discussed.


David Pate, PhD, University of Wisconsin—Milwaukee

David J. Pate, Jr., PHD is an Associate Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Helen Bader School of Social Welfare. His fields of special interest are welfare reform policy; child support enforcement policy; fatherhood; domestic violence; and the intersection of race, gender, and poverty. He has over twenty-five years of direct service, management, and policy experience in the field of social work.

Professor Pate’s research projects involve the use of qualitative research methods to examine the relationship of non-custodial fathers of children on welfare and their interaction with their children, the child support enforcement system, the mothers of their children, and the incarceration system. A member of the Ford Foundation Scholars Network on Masculinity and the Wellbeing of African American Males

In 2011, he participated on the legal research and writing team which submitted two amicus brief for the Center for Family Policy and Practice (CFFPP) in support of the petitioner in the Turner v. Rogers case to the United States Supreme Court. Oral arguments were presented on the case in Washington, D.C. on March 23, 2011.
Prior to his appointment at UWM, He was the Founder and Executive Director of the Center for Family Policy and Practice, and held a Postdoctoral Research Fellowship at the Institute for Research on Poverty (IRP), University of Wisconsin-Madison and appointed to a two-year term as an advisor to the federal Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families. Professor Pate received a Bachelor of Social Work from the University of Detroit, a Masters of Arts in Social Work from the University of Chicago, School of Social Service Administration and then earned a Ph.D. in Social Welfare at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Correctional Mental Health: Aberration or Specialization? (Robert J. Powitzky, PhD)

Saturday Morning

The delivery of mental health services in a correctional setting represents a distinct mental health service specialty with its own unique best practices and evidenced-based programs in addition to – not opposed to – those practices, ethical standards, and goals shared by other mental health specialties, such as community mental health and private practice. The most effective mental health services delivery system within correctional settings is not simply a clone of community mental health practice or not even a hybrid of private practice and community mental health services practice. Rather the most effective correctional mental health services are those that incorporate certain best practices from other community-based mental health service delivery models along with best practices unique to the correctional setting, appropriate combination of which will produce a distinctive, distinguishable mental health services delivery system called correctional mental health services.


Robert J. Powitzky PhD

After 14 years of service as Chief Mental Health Officer of the Oklahoma Department of Corrections, Robert J. Powitzky, Ph.D. retired July 2013 and currently maintains a full-time private practice in forensic/clinical psychology and expert correctional mental health consultation. His experience in the criminal justice system spans forty-one years. Dr. Powitzky has served as an expert consultant to law enforcement and corrections agencies nationwide, including over 18 state and county correctional and jail systems. He is also an Adjunct Professor in the OUHSC Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and frequently lectures on forensic mental health and mental health issues in the criminal justice system.

When he was Chief Mental Health Officer, Dr. Powitzky was responsible for development and implementation of all mental health services for the Department. This included recruitment and supervision of eight psychiatrists, forty psychologists, and approximately thirty master’s level clinicians. Prior to his Oklahoma DOC position he was in a full-time forensic psychology private practice in Dallas for fifteen years, where he specialized in issues of sexual abuse, substance abuse and violence. In addition, his expertise included personnel screening, training and counseling services for INS, local law enforcement and private security agencies. During the twelve years prior to private forensic practice, he served in various positions for the Federal Bureau of Prisons, ultimately as the Chief of Psychology Services for the entire Federal Bureau of Prisons. In 1980-1982, Dr. Powitzky served as the Assistant Director, Health and Correctional Programs, of the Arkansas Department of Corrections.

From Data to Implementation : Maximizing the Impact of Criminal Justice and Behavioral Health Resources (Brian Kinnaird, PhD)

Saturday Lunch

How can we reduce recidivism in relation to individuals in the criminal justice system with mental health disorders? Reducing jail costs and increasing the ability to connect individuals with disorders to effective community-based health services are key. Heightened awareness, along with a framework for professionals in the criminal justice and behavioral health system, can create the opportunity for better allocation of scarce resources, improvement of collaboration and communication, and overall encouragement of responsible and effective practices.


Brian A. Kinnaird, PhD

Brian Kinnaird, PHD serves as associate professor of criminal justice at Bethany College in Lindsborg, KS. He has also served in posts as tenured professor and department chair of justice studies at Fort Hays State University in Hays, KS and program coordinator/associate professor of criminal justice at the University of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio, TX. Dr. Kinnaird began his career as a deputy sheriff assigned to the jail division with the Ellis County Sheriff’s Department in Hays, KS before accepting an assignment to the road division where he held a law enforcement commission through the State of Kansas. Dr. Kinnaird has served on the advisory board and task force for the Larned Correctional Mental Health Facility which houses the most severely and persistently mentally ill inmates within the Kansas Department of Corrections. He is a guest columnist in the Law and Crime section of Psychology Today and is published in a wide variety of outlets in the field of criminal justice.

Springfield and the Ozark Region Host Activities:

Friday, April 11, 2014

Bass Pro Shops – Springfield

Take the shuttle departing at 5:00 p.m. from the University Plaza hotel to Springfield’s Bass Pro Shops – the “granddaddy” of all Bass Pro Retail stores. Bass Pro Shops today isn’t just fishing. It is an outdoor retail leader in hunting, camping, nature gifts, outdoor cooking, and much more. Enjoy dinner overlooking an outdoor splendid scene at Hemingway’s restaurant. Great food and unique atmosphere make this meal a once in a lifetime experience! Bass Pro Shops has become one of America’s premier outdoor retailers with destination outdoor retail stores across America and Canada, serving over 75 million sportsmen a year. Each store is unique and offers a truly unforgettable shopping experience – as close to the Great Outdoors as you can get indoors! Shuttle will be returning to the hotel at 9:00 p.m.

Downtown Springfield

Board the shuttle at 6:00 p.m. for a ride to downtown Springfield. Vital, vibrant, and inviting, the downtown area of Springfield is bursting with activities, commerce and things to explore. Downtown is built around the charm of the old city square, currently being updated with waterfalls and a performing stage. Here reside movie theatres, a wide range of casual and fine dining, live music, and unique shops — making everything convenient. The Discovery Center is a great destination for kids with lots of hands-on learning. Founder’s Park, Jordan Valley Park, the Mediacom ice skating arena and Hammons Field, home of the Springfield Cardinals all welcome visitors. Historic theaters provide stages for the community’s robust performing arts, or take advantage of a comedy show at the Skinny Improv. It’s all Downtown!

There is no charge for the shuttle service to these local attractions, and no admission fees. Dinner, entertainment and associated shopping are on your own. Enjoy exploring!


Saturday, April 12, 2014

Hughes Brothers Theater – Branson

The Hughes Brothers Theater offers a candlelit dinner served at 6:30 p.m. on the upper level of the theater. Menu includes house salad, homemade roll, center-cut pork tenderloin, glazed chicken breast, small red potatoes, vegetable medley, white chocolate champagne cake, coffee or tea. After dinner, enjoy the show! With a cast of over 47, the Hughes Brothers Show is electrifying! Over 90% of the cast are family…but the size of this family isn’t what makes this the most memorable show in Branson – it’s the astonishing scope of entertainment! Incredible harmonies, entertaining antics, dynamic dance, soaring instrumentals, creative production numbers, a multi-talented band, and of course Brotherly Love, combine to make this one huge show! Transport shuttle, admission and dinner provided for $69 per person.

Mickey Gilley Theater – Branson

Leave the hotel on the 5:00 p.m. shuttle to the Mickey Gilley Texas Cantina. A plated dinner will be served include ¼ smoked chicken, ¼ slab of BBQ ribs, potato salad, baked beans, dinner roll, cobbler and iced tea. After dinner, guests move next door to the Mickey Gilley Theater to enjoy the vocal group “SIX,” voted the “Best Show in Branson” for the past seven years!  Dubbed “An Orchestra of Human Voice,” this award winning show has thrilled and captivated audiences from Europe to Asia and from North America to South America. Pure harmonies, astonishing vocal ranges and toe-tapping rhythms – you’d swear there’s a full band, but it’s only SIX VOICES – ZERO INSTRUMENTS – ALL MUSIC! You won’t believe what comes out of their mouths! Drums, bass, instruments and unbeatable harmonies – and that’s just in the first thirty seconds! Transport shuttle, admission and dinner provided for $69 per person.


Sunday, April 13, 2014

Silver Dollar City – Branson

Board the shuttle at 8:30 a.m. to spend the day at Silver Dollar City! Visit this beautiful theme park nestled in the Ozark Mountains where you’ll step back in time to an 1880’s craft village filled with the best crafts, thrill rides, family attractions and festivals! Silver Dollar City theme park hosts bluegrass festivals, craft festivals and southern gospel music festivals in scenic Branson. Experience 30 thrilling attractions and rides, including their new kid’s area, Half Dollar Holler. Visit over 60 unique craft shops and watch and learn from craftsmen demonstrating their skills in pioneer crafts. Enjoy live entertainment featuring more than 40 shows daily, as well as a dozen restaurants offering breakfast, lunch and dinner. Shuttle service and admission to the park is included. Lunch is on your own at the park and there are so many options to select from! Step back in time at Silver Dollar City – or at least until 4:00 p.m., when the shuttle departs to return guests to the hotel. Transport shuttle and park admission provided for $79 per person.

Thousand Hills Golf Resort

If you are looking for a course that will test your skills, no other Branson golf course delivers like Thousand Hills. As a Golf Digest award winner, you can be sure Thousand Hills is truly the most challenging of all Branson Missouri golf courses. A Robert E. Cupp design, with Michael Riley as course architect, Thousand Hills is a thrilling test for players of all skill levels.  Surrounded by the natural beauty of the Ozarks, this Branson golf course is graced with all the comforts of a premier, first-class golf facility.  Shuttles depart the hotel at 7:30 a.m. Guests will have a few minutes to putt/chip/warm up. There is room on the shuttle for your clubs, or rental clubs are available for $12.00 if ordered in advance. First tee time is at 9:00 a.m., and you should finish your rounds between 1:30 and 2:00 p.m., giving you enough time to enjoy lunch/cocktails in the Clubhouse (food and beverage not included in this package – meals on your own), before the shuttle picks up from the clubhouse at 3:30 p.m. and returns you to the University Plaza Hotel. $79 Fee includes shuttle service and 18 holes with shared power cart.