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The CDC-Kaiser ACEs study of the mid-90’s was one of the largest studies ever conducted to measure the prevalence and make-up of childhood abuse and neglect. The original study examined over 17,000 subjects in California and is heavily cited in clinical mental health. The core of the study – the effect of early childhood abuse – informs virtually EVERY aspect of modern trauma treatment. These early experiences are also a significant contributing factor to criminal offending behavior, a problem of epidemic proportion that deserves our clinical time and attention.

Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) (e.g., household dysfunction, abuse, neglect, witnessing violence in the home or community) are traumatic events occurring prior to the age of 18 and are related to long-term negative cognitive, developmental, behavioral, social, and physical health outcomes.

Designed for professionals, this training provides attendees with an overview of the ACEs research and its role in criminal offending behavior. Interviewing, screening, intake, intervention, and case management approaches will also be discussed during this training. This includes a review of practical tips, strategies, and solutions that can be utilized when working with criminal justice and forensic mental health populations impacted by various types of adverse childhood experiences. Other relevant topics of interest discussed include criminal recidivism, anger, violence, and aggression, prenatal trauma, maternal adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and adverse birth outcomes, complex and developmental trauma, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), complex PTSD (CPTSD), toxic stress, alexithymia, mentalization deficits, attachment problems, executive functioning limitations, sleep disturbances, self-regulation problems, empathy deficits, theory of mind (ToM) limitations, language development issues, hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis dysregulation, central, nervous system dysfunction, suicidality, shame, empathy, resilience, and trauma informed care strategies to name a few. All aforementioned discussions are grounded in empirical research findings. 




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This training will provide participants clinical knowledge and tools to:

a). Define adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and complex trauma.

b). Develop and apply a working knowledge of the cognitive, biological, developmental, behavioral, emotional, social, and physical health consequences associated with ACEs and complex trauma.

c). Explore the implications ACEs and complex trauma have on criminal offending behavior.

d). Discuss interviewing, screening, and intervention options for those with a history of ACEs, complex trauma, and criminal offending behavior.

e). Learn and understand the existing empirical research on ACEs, complex trauma, and criminal offending behavior.


Target Audience:

Mental health counselors, psychologists, social workers, drug and alcohol counselors, marriage and family therapists, telehealth treatment professionals, and other clinical mental health professionals.


Instructional Level: Intermediate

Instructor(s): Jerrod Brown, PhD, MA, MS, MS, MS

Material Author(s): Jerrod Brown, PhD, MA, MS, MS, MS

Jerrod Brown, Ph.D., M.A., M.S., M.S., M.S., is a professor, trainer, researcher, and consultant with multiple years of experience teaching collegiate courses. Jerrod is also the founder and CEO of the American Institute for the Advancement of Forensic Studies (AIAFS). Jerrod has also provided consultation services to a number of caregivers, professionals, and organizations pertaining to topics related to autism spectrum disorder (ASD), fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD), confabulation, suggestibility, trauma and other life adversities, traumatic brain injury (TBI), and youth firesetting. Jerrod has completed four separate master’s degree programs and holds graduate certificates in Neuropsychology, Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Other Health Disabilities (OHD), and Traumatic-Brain Injuries (TBI). Jerrod has also conducted over 200 workshops, webinars, and on-demand trainings for various organizations and professional and student audiences. In 2021, Jerrod completed a post-doctoral certificate in Leadership and Organizational Strategy from Walden University and a Professional Certificate in Forensic Psychology from San Diego State University Global Campus. Currently, Jerrod is pursuing a graduate certificate in Neuroscience and the Law from Michigan State University. Jerrod has published several articles and book chapters, and recently, co-edited the book Forensic Mental Health: A Source Guide for Professionals (Brown & Weinkauf, 2018) with Erv Weinkauf. Jerrod is also regularly featured on several national and international podcast programs. Email:

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