Brock welcomes expert on intellectual disabilities, criminal justice for public talk

Brock University’s Forensic Psychology and Criminal Justice (FPAC) Speaker Series invites the community to a virtual event next week exploring how persons with intellectual disabilities interact with the justice system.

Professor of Psychiatry and Psychology Jessica Jones of Queen’s University will present a talk entitled “Offenders with Intellectual Disabilities” on Thursday, Jan. 26 from noon to 1 p.m. via Microsoft Teams.

Jones is a clinical forensic psychologist, Acting Chair of the Division of Developmental Disabilities and Clinical Director of the dual diagnosis program. She has more than 25 years of experience working internationally with persons with intellectual disabilities and autism spectrum disorder who are in conflict with the law.

“Dr. Jones’ experience as an academic, clinician and international scholar shines a light on a population that is often overlooked when we think about the forensic system,” says Professor Voula Marinos, Director of FPAC. “Students in the FPAC program — and anyone interested in the justice system — will have an opportunity to critically examine the breadth of ‘mental disorder and the law’ as a legal concept and process.”

Marinos, who believes that “equity in the justice system is one of the most fundamental challenges today,” is looking forward to the event, which will address concerns she believes should be much more widely discussed.

“As an over-represented group in the justice system, accused persons with an intellectual disability face being unidentified, having barriers to access to justice and being vulnerable to having their rights violated,” she says. “If convicted, sentences are typically ineffective in addressing their specific needs.”

Everyone is welcome to attend the virtual presentation, but advance registration is required to receive a meeting invitation. Sign up to attend by Tuesday, Jan. 24. Questions for Jones may also be submitted via the registration form.

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