Nebraska's Emerging Adult Program Welcomed by National Audience

Nebraska's Emerging Adult Program Welcomed by National Audience

Wednesday, September 20, 2023

Program Director of Adult Probation Services Eric Maly and Alternatives to Incarceration Specialist Marc Kohmetscher spoke at a national-level program on the importance of nonverbal communication when working with Emerging Adults (ages 18-25). The session was held during the August 2023 American Probation and Parole Association meeting.

The presentation reinforced the importance of body language and facial expressions when working with individuals under supervision.  Maly and Kohmetscher used many personal real-life examples of how to nonverbally communicate support in order to enhance both community safety and to build rapport with individuals on their caseloads.  

The discussion also featured a review of brain development and how executive functioning in the brain often develops much later than traditionally accepted by science.   As such, an individual who hasn’t had the structured life experiences necessary for normative development will take much more time and patience to develop behavior change.   Many of the unhealthy behaviors that young adults develop are due, in part, to unhealthy home environments, poverty, and untreated behavioral health issues -- all of which affect brain development. 

Maly and Kohmetscher had an engaged audience of practitioners from across the US and received positive feedback from professionals from other states.   They will present their training statewide in the coming months.  

Additionally, Maly participated on a national plenary panel about the innovative work that Nebraska is doing alongside Columbia University and the Casey Foundation for Emerging Adults.