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Forensic Scholars TodayVolume 3, Issue 1

Youth Firesetters Need a Multidisciplinary Approach to Intervention

Youth firesetters sometimes present with a wide array of mental illnesses (e.g., mood and anxiety disorders), behavioral disorders (e.g., ADHD and conduct disorder), learning disorders, and less-than-optimal environmental conditions (e.g. caregiver instability and dysfunctional family dynamics). Fire professionals should seek out multidisciplinary teams to adequately address the needs of youth firesetters with co-occurring conditions. Learn more. View online or by PDF.

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) and Suggestibility: A Need for Greater Awareness and Understanding

Forensic Scholars Today - SuggestibilityAfflicting 2% to 5% of the U.S. population, fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) is precipitated by prenatal alcohol exposure (PAE). FASD consists of life course persistent symptoms including cognitive, social, and adaptive impairments. Learn more about the often persistent difficulties in social, education, work, and criminal justice settings. View online or by PDF.

Common Myths and Misconceptions About Youth Firesetting

Youth who engage in firesetting behavior can create serious problems, both for themselves and the community surrounding them. In fact, some estimate that youth under the age of 18 account for a sizable percentage of all arson arrests in the United States each year. This article identifies 20 common myths and misconceptions of youth firesetting. View online or by PDF.

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI): What Mental Health Professionals Need to Know

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) occurs when an external blow to the head results in an alteration of brain function (Menon, Schwab, Wright, & Maas, 2010). These changes in brain function may range from “mild” with short-term consequences to “serious” with irreparable damage. Not only do these symptoms increase the likelihood of mental health treatment, but these symptoms also complicate the successful delivery of such services. View online or by PDF.

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Competency to Stand Trial (CST): A Need for Greater Understanding and Further Research

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) consists of social and communication deficits, cognitive rigidity, and behavioral sequelae, all of which can vary in presence and severity across individuals with the disorder. These symptoms increase the likelihood that an individual will become entangled in the criminal justice system and can have a devastating impact on an individual’s capacity to participate in the legal process. Learn more. View online or by PDF.

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Message from the Editor

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) refers to a set of pervasive, life-long conditions caused by prenatal alcohol exposure. The consequences associated with prenatal alcohol exposure can contribute to a host of adverse outcomes that can impact behavioral, cognitive, educational, social, and vocational capacities. Deficits associated with FASD can lead to individual issues with decision-making, long-term planning and understanding, memory, suggestibility, confabulation, and vulnerability, all of which may predispose individuals with FASD to come into contact with the criminal justice system. Without proper recognition of the diagnosis, suspects, defendants, victims, and witnesses with FASD may experience a host of challenges and obstacles during several different points-of-contact in the criminal justice system (i.e., pretrial, trial, sentencing, and post-sentencing). Forensic Scholars Today (FST) recognizes the importance of educating students and professionals on the complexities and misconceptions of FASD.

– Jerrod Brown, Editor-in-Chief