Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


49th Annual Convention; Denver, CO; 2023

Event Details

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Symposium #400
CE Offered: BACB
The Many Applications of Applied Behavior Analysis in Juvenile Justice Settings
Monday, May 29, 2023
4:00 PM–5:50 PM
Hyatt Regency, Mineral Hall D-G
Area: CSS; Domain: Translational
Chair: Emily Kieffer (ATBx)
Discussant: Emily Kieffer (ATBx)
CE Instructor: Emily Kieffer, M.A.

Applied behavior analysis (ABA) has historically been implemented and carried out most commonly in clinical settings with adults and children diagnosed with autism and developmental disabilities. Within recent years, the field of ABA has been disseminating its implementation of services and interventions to other settings and populations. Behavior analysts at ATBx, LLC have been providing ABA services within juvenile detention and residential facilities within the past 5 years. The presentations in this symposium include the implementation of facility wide program assessments and interventions, strategies to increase “buy in” with professionals from other disciplines, review of utilizing neuroscience data within juvenile justice settings and a review of the current allocation of resources within the system and its effect on recidivism and problem behaviors to avoid release.

Instruction Level: Basic
Keyword(s): "Juvenile Justice", Recidivism, Youth
Target Audience:

Behavior Analyst and those in trainging

Learning Objectives: 1. How to increase implementation of behavior plans in juvenile justice settings. 2. Ways to build rapport and communicate effectively with professionals outside of ABA. 3. How to use skill acquisition programming to decrease high frequency problem behaviors observed in youth committed to residential juvenile justice programs.
Behavioral Neuroscience Goes to Court
(Service Delivery)
CALEB D HUDGINS (Adapt & Transform Behavior)
Abstract: Over the last decade there has been a substantial increase in attempts to utilize brain data to inform criminal justice systems. This includes attempts to admit neuroscience data as evidence for trial and sentencing but also as inputs to prediction tools like risk assessments. Behavior analysis is in a unique position to contribute to and advance these efforts, particularly in the area of dynamic risk assessments. Identifying behavior measures as risk factors that are both predictive and dynamic allow those same risk factors to be targets for intervention and support services. By considering the ways in which neuroscience data is currently being utilized by the courts and other justice systems, its strengths and limitations, behavior analyst can better understand how they can support the current needs of criminal justice practitioners.

Using Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) to Increase the Effectiveness of Facility Wide Interventions and Individualized Plans in the Juvenile Residential Facility

(Applied Research)
ELLIE MOROSOHK (Adapt & Transform Behavior)

Applied Behavior Analysis services are provided in a variety of settings and with different populations of clients, including in juvenile justice facilities. ABA services provided in these facilities include individualized behavioral services with behavior intensive youth, facility wide interventions, staff training and consultation. The data examined in this presentation will look at an initial assessment of a facility before ABA services were implemented and a follow up after one year of comprehensive ABA services. The results show that in the year that ABA services were implemented, there was an increase in staff proficiency, positive interactions among staff and youth and implementation of daily routines.


Voluntary Commitment: The Function of Recidivism in Juvenile Justice Settings

SARA HORDGES (Adapt & Transform Behavior)

Many youth committed to Juvenile Justice programs will engage in higher frequencies of problem behaviors closer to their release date in order to access additional resources and avoid returning to an aversive, unsafe or traumatizing environment. This occurs because the current system disproportionately allocates resources to mental health therapies rather than providing youth access to treatments and resources that will teach adaptive real life skills such as budgeting, job skills, obtaining housing, etc. In this presentation we will review case studies of youth who voluntarily committed themselves to the criminal justice system.

Navigating Uncharted Waters
Abstract: As the world of ABA grows in multiple directions, analysts are continuously needing to adapt to new environments. As a supervisor of analysts new to working outside of early autism intervention settings, the presenter has observed these analysts struggling to build rapport with professionals from other disciplines. This skill deficit frequently impacts treatment outcomes as without “buy in” many well written behavior plans fail to be implemented. This presentation will discuss the strategies and rapport building techniques used to assist in developing relationships in “uncharted waters”. Additionally, this talk will discuss how the analyst can use these strategies to increase rapport in the home, community and in schools to expand the use and knowledge of ABA with their current clients.



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