Applying a Neuroscience and Psychosocial Development Framework to Testifying in Juvenile Cases

Hosted by: David Prescott
Guest Speaker: Tom Leversee, LCSW

Recorded on: February 22, 2023
Length: 1 Hour

In this webinar, Tom Leversee presents a framework for expert witnesses that focuses on brain science, developmental age/crime trajectories, and psychosocial maturity and desistance.    

Mental health professionals in the juvenile justice system frequently serve as expert witnesses in court cases in which juveniles face the possibility of being prosecuted as adults. Many youths have been directly entered into the adult court system due to the seriousness of their offense(s), when the welfare of both the youth in question and society as a whole would be better served if the youth were to be assigned to juvenile court. Neuroscience and psychosocial development have supported the findings that adolescents are less capable of mature judgement, more vulnerable to negative external influences, and have a greater capacity for change and reform.

This webinar focuses on the scientific evidence that may be persuasive in such cases.

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Tom Leversee, LCSW
Adjunct Professor, University of Denver Graduate School of Social Work

Tom Leversee, LCSW, worked for 34 years in direct care, clinical work, supervision and management, and administrative positions in the Colorado Division of Youth Corrections. He has extensive clinical experience with adolescents who have engaged in sexually abusive behavior and facilitated the Denver County Sexual Abuse Review Team. Tom currently has a private practice focused on consultation, training, and clinical services for adolescents. Tom has served on numerous occasions as an expert witness, with a recent focus on applying a neuroscience and psychosocial development framework to juvenile transfer hearings. Tom is also an adjunct professor at the University of Denver Graduate School of Social Work with courses focused on Delinquency and Youth Violence and Forensic Practice. Tom has numerous publications and has presented extensively nationally and internationally. He served on the state Sex Offender Management Board and on the Board for the Association for the Treatment and Prevention of Sexual Abuse.  

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