The Yellow Ribbon Conference is an opportunity for networking, collaboration, and exchange of knowledge with experts, officers, researchers, and practitioners in corrections and prisons. The theme of the conference emphasises the notion that the process of change for offenders is a multi-prong rehabilitation and reintegration effort that involves not only the offenders themselves, but officers, systems, and the community. The conference tracks for YRC 2018 (which will be streamlined further after the call for papers) include:

  • Emerging trends in rehabilitation and reintegration
  • Staff training and development to support rehabilitation and operation
  • Technology solutions for community supervision
  • Operation and rehabilitation practices
  • Community corrections
  • Community interventions and support
  • Correctional rehabilitation and reintegration
  • Drug prevention and rehabilitation
Conference Highlights
  • 2 keynote addresses by international subject matter experts
  • Multiple conference tracks for presentations
  • Panel discussions on specific topics of interest
Broad Conference Programme
6 Sept (Thu) 7 Sept (Fri) 8 Sept (Sat)
  • Opening address by Guest of Honour
  • Keynote speech
  • Keynote speech
  • Presentation tracks
  • Learning Journeys
  • Presentation tracks and panel discussions
  • Workshop
  • Presentation tracks

Revisit for further updates.
Paper Submission final date: 31-July-2018

Submit an abstract of the paper

You will need to submit the following in your paper submission page: Title of presentation, presentation type, biography information, abstract and main points of the paper.

Get Accepted

Once your paper submission details are received by the YRC 2018 committee, it will be reviewed. The conference organizer reserves the right to make the final decision with regards to the selection of submissions and presentations. The YRC committee will inform you of the status within two weeks.


Once your paper is accepted, you may proceed to register for the conference. As there are limited spaces, you are encouraged to register early and to sign up for the other YR activities like the YR Prison Run.

Topic of keynote address
The Iceland Model for Turning Around Teen Substance Abuse
By Prof Harvey Milkman, Metropolitan State University of Denver

Harvey Milkman University Professor
Synopsis of Keynote Address

In 2017 Iceland received word-wide attention for having dramatically reversed the course of teenage substance abuse. From 1998 to 2018, the percentage of 15-16-year-old Icelandic youth who were drunk in the past 30 days declined from 42% to 5%; daily cigarette smoking dropped from 23% to 3%; and having used cannabis one or more times fell from 17% to 5%. The core elements of the model are: 1) long-term commitment by local communities; 2) emphasis on environmental rather than individual change;

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3) perception of adolescents as social attributes. This presentation describes how the Iceland prevention model is built upon collaboration between policy makers, researchers, and youth practitioners. These groups have created a system whereby youth receive the necessary guidance and support to live fun and productive lives without reliance on psychoactive substances. The Model is being replicated in 35 municipalities within 17 countries around the globe. The Icelandic Model: Evidence Based Primary Prevention - 20 Years of Successful Primary Prevention Work was featured for the past two years at the Special Session of the United Nations General Assembly on the World Drug Problem.
Keynote Speaker Biography

Harvey Milkman, PhD is Professor Emeritus, Department of Psychology, Metropolitan State University of Denver. He is Visiting Professor at Reykjavik University, Iceland (2015 – present). In January 2019 he begins a 3-month Fulbright Scholar Award at Reykjavik University teaching classes on Addictive Behaviours, conducting research and delivering seminars on the Iceland Prevention Model. On March 10, 2017 Dr. Milkman was the featured guest on National Public Radio (NPR) “Here and Now.” How an American Helped Iceland Fix Its Teen Substance Abuse Problem.

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Dr. Milkman has been a consultant on developing cognitive-behavioural treatment for Justice-Involved clients to the Departments of Corrective Services in multiple states throughout the U.S. as well as Canada, Western Australia, New South Wales, Australia and Queensland, Australia. He has represented the United States Information Agency as a featured speaker in Australia, Brazil, Iceland, The Netherlands, Peru, Turkey and Yugoslavia. In July 2016 he delivered master classes on “Adolescent Problem Behaviours” for the US/Russia Peer-to-Peer Program: Working with At-Risk Youth at Moscow State University, Moscow, Russia. He is author of Pathways to Self-Discovery and Change: Criminal Conduct and Substance Abuse Treatment for Adolescents, the primary treatment curriculum used in residential correctional settings throughout Colorado, Texas and Montana. Dr. Milkman is principal author of numerous scholarly articles and 11 books on the causes, consequences and treatment choices for the broad spectrum of addictive behaviours. His recent publications include:
  • Milkman, H., Sunderwirth, S., Hill, K. (2018). Craving for Ecstasy and Natural Highs (2nd Edition). Cognella Academic Books
  • Wanberg, K. & Milkman, H. (2014). Social Responsibility Therapy: A Cognitive-Behavioral Model for Treatment of Substance-Abusing Judicial Clients. In Forensic CBT: A Handbook for Clinical Practice, Tafrate, R., & Mitchell, D. (Eds.).
  • Milkman, H. & Wanberg, K. (2012). Pathways to Self-Discovery and Change: Criminal Conduct and Substance Abuse Treatment for Adolescents – Provider’s Guide and Participant’s Workbook.
  • Wanberg, K. & Milkman, H. (2006; 2008). Criminal Conduct and Substance Abuse Treatment: Strategies for Self-Improvement and Change - A Cognitive Behavioural Approach for Treatment of the Substance Abusing Offender (Provider's Manual and Participant's Workbook). Sage Publications, Inc.
  • Milkman, H., Wanberg, K. & Gagliardi, B. (2008). Criminal Conduct and Substance Abuse Treatment for Women in Correctional Settings: Adjunct Provider’s Guide. Sage Publications, Inc.
  • Milkman, H. and Wanberg (2007). Cognitive-Behavioral Treatment: A Review and Discussion for Corrections Professionals, National Institute of Corrections.
Topic of keynote address
A Co-Ordinated Approach to the Assessment of Dynamic Risk and Protective Assets with Offenders: Policy and Practice Implications
By Dr Nick Wilson, Principal Advisor, Officer of the Chief Psychologist, Department of Corrections

Dr. Nick Wilson
Principal Advisor, Officer of the Chief Psychologist
Department of Corrections
Synopsis of Keynote Address

This presentation will discuss the need to co-ordinate the assessment processes completed on offenders across prison and parole settings. This is of particular importance in terms of the identification of dynamic assessment areas both in terms of changeable risk factors and possible protective assets.

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Co-ordination being viewed as able to bring benefits in terms of early identification of need areas, consistent messages to offenders on what they need to address to counter avoidance, variable motivation, and perceived unfair treatment. Use of complimentary measures also provides an ability to deliver treatment and management across prison and community settings and enables better capture of reliable change in risk. The policy and practice implication of such a co-ordinated approach will be discussed with reference to the successful implementation across New Zealand Corrections prison and probation offender management of complementary dynamic risk and protective asset measures.
Keynote Speaker Biography

Nick Wilson, PhD., PG Dip. Psych. (Clinical) has been working as a Clinical Psychologist for the Department of Corrections in New Zealand for the last twenty-one years. His current substantive role is as Principal Advisor, Psychological Research working for the Office of the Chief Psychologist with responsibility for the provision of specialist training and research in the area of risk assessment and offender management and treatment.

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Nick has a long standing expertise in the assessment and treatment of criminal psychopathy and has delivered specialised training in this area in New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, and the USA to psychologists and psychiatrists over the last 16 years. He regularly lectures at New Zealand universities on forensic risk assessment and treatment issues. Nick has carried out extensive research into the area of risk assessment with youth and adult offenders, with violent and sex offences, as well as the evaluation of treatment programmes delivered to offenders. His expertise in personality assessment lead to him developing the High Risk Personality Programme delivered in New Zealand maximum and high security prison settings as well as the Adult Sex Offender Treatment Programme (Rapist focused) delivered across prison based specialist treatment programmes. Nick in recent years has been involved in the development of dynamic risk and protective asset assessment measures used by probation officers and prison based case managers (Dynamic Risk Offender Re-entry [DRAOR] and SDAC-21) as well as improved suicide assessment in probation and prison settings using the Columbia-Suicide Severity Rating Scale (C-SSRS). His most recent project has been the revision of a static risk measure for sex offenders based on the Static-99R that is generated automatically from computerised criminal history records. Finally, Nick still continues to have an involvement in clinical work carrying out high level risk assessments on offenders being considered for indeterminate sentences and is experienced in giving expert testimony in court in regards of these reports.
Workshop Title-1

Working with Youth Criminal Conduct and Substance Abuse Treatment for Adolescents                        
By Prof Harvey Milkman, Metropolitan State University of Denver

Promoting alternative recreational activities, improving self-efficacy, building social competence and providing broadening cultural experiences are the most effective strategies for delinquency and drug abuse prevention. Cognitive restructuring and coping skills training can be effectively taught to adolescents in correctional or community-based settings providing that the material is presented in an interactive and multi-sensory format, drawing on themes that have both immediate and long-term importance to the client population. This training workshop focuses on evidence-based strategies for preventing adolescent deviant behaviour from progressing into lifelong patterns of substance abuse, emotional distress and criminal conduct.


3 hours
Section I. Theoretical and Research Perspectives

Theoretical foundations and research evidence is presented for development and implementation of adolescent-focused treatment programming. Included are discussions of risk and resiliency factors that mediate problem behaviours; mental health factors associated with deviant activity; bio/psycho/social underpinnings of substance abuse and crime; the action of alcohol or other drugs on the developing adolescent brain; factors that predict adolescent-limited and life-course-persistent patterns of criminal involvement; gender differences and treatment implications for juvenile-justice clients; treatment enhancement through cultural mindfulness; perspectives on assessing risk and resiliency for screening; in-depth treatment planning; and outcome assessment.

Section II. Evidence-Based Practice

Implementation and operational procedures for delivery of an adolescent focused, cognitive-behavioural, individual or group treatment curriculum are provided.

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This section presents detailed guidelines for how to introduce cognitive-behavioural treatment in an atmosphere of safety, trust, and rapport within adolescent treatment settings. The theoretical and research basis for sequential treatment phases are presented as clients move through Challenge to Change; Commitment to Change; and Ownership of Change. Hands-on counselling skills building exercises are the primary focus of this core training segment.
Target Audience
The target audience includes youth counsellors, psychologists, social workers, juvenile correctional officers, school personnel, and program administrators, and all practitioners who work with adolescents at-risk for substance abuse, mental disorder, juvenile delinquency and crime.

Workshop Title-2

Working Effectively with Offenders or Supervisees in Intervention and Supervision                        
by Dr Nick Wilson

Synopsis of Workshop

This workshop is designed for staff involved in assessment, management or tasked with the delivery of treatment, as well as those in need of a refresher on the issues of transference and counter-transference in interacting with offenders. After a general discussion of the challenging Corrections environment in which we work, the workshop will provide information on how to identify and recognize offender attempts to manipulate us and how to identify and recognize destructive staff divisions that undermine effective practice. The interactive presentation will also seek to raise an awareness of the interpersonal influences that can affect our work and to look at effective approaches to manage professional boundaries with a focus on establishing and maintaining a working alliance. The overall aim of the workshop is to normalize manipulation, no matter how long you have worked with offenders or your level of clinical skills, so we can continue to work safely with manipulation rather than seeking to deny or avoid dynamic offender contact. There will be some specific material on personality pathology and transference management and skills to manage these challenges to provide effective practice.

Target Audience

The target audience includes prison officers, supervision officers, psychologists, counsellors, and case workers who work closely with offenders in intervention and supervision in prison and community.


3 hours
Paper Submission