An Introduction to Forensic Social Work in the Criminal Justice System

**In partnership with Nassau Community College InterAct! Committee, and the Robert Mulligan Forensic Social Work Foundation, Inc.**

Presenter(s): Robert W. Mulligan, M.P.S., R-LCSW, Hugo Lopez, LMSW, CASAC, & Jennifer L. Coden, Esq.

NASW-NYS Members: $15

NASW Other Chapter Member: $22.50

Non-Members: $30

ALL STUDENTS ARE FREE! (Thank you to NCC for helping make this happen!)

This workshop is approved for 1.5 continuing education credit hour(s) for licensed social workers, licensed mental health counselors, and licensed marriage and family therapists.



Workshop Description

This panel presentation is a collaborative effort of the Social Work, Health and Human Services Network (SHHN) and the Robert Mulligan Social work Foundation Inc., in conjunction with the NASW New York State Chapter. The panel will focus on both an introduction to the field of forensic social work and the practice skills necessary for the emerging forensic social worker. Experienced social workers and a legal professional will provide an overview of their experiences within the forensic social work realm, with a specific emphasis on their collective professional criminal justice background. Contextual cases pertaining to the explicit connections between the legal and the social work professions will be provided. Finally, particular emphasis will be given to clinical support skills needed to provide essential support to all individuals involved with the criminal justice system.


Learning Objectives

After the completion of this webinar, participants will be able to:

  • Describe the role of social work in the criminal justice system;
  • Describe the role of the forensic social worker;
  • Describe the skills necessary to be a successful forensic social worker.


This workshop is approved for 1.5 continuing education credit hour(s).

NASW-NYS is recognized by the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Mental Health Practitioners as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers (Provider ID #0014), licensed mental health counselors (Provider ID #MHC-0053), and licensed marriage and family therapists. (Provider ID #MFT-0037).



Robert W. Mulligan, M.P.S., R-LCSW acquired his bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice and Sociology from Long Island University before earning his Masters of Professional Studies in Criminal Justice at Long Island University in 1981. He also obtained a Master in Social Work in 1985 from the Adelphi University School of Social Work, specializing in casework and community organization. Robert spent over seven years working at the Nassau County Treatment Alternative to Street Crime of the Education Assistance Center in Port Washington, New York, and has also been working as an adjunct professor of Forensic Social Work at the Graduate School of Social Work of LIU since 2011. Robert has simultaneously maintained his private practice since 1985 specializing in Psychotherapy and Forensic Social Work where he has participated in thousands of criminal and juvenile cases with charges ranging from Petit Larceny to Murder.

Hugo Lopez, LMSW, CASAC Hugo Lopez procured his Associate of Applied Science degree alongside his title of Credentialed Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Counselor at Suffolk Community College. He then went on to earn his Bachelor’s Degree from the Long Island University School of Social Work and then continued his education at Fordham University School of Social Work where he earned his Masters in Social Work. Hugo has spent much of his career working in hospitals and treatment programs across Long Island, providing short-term and long -term individual psychotherapy counseling services to a diverse population of clients. During his time at the Consulting Project Inc., in Forest Hills, Hugo provided bilingual (English/Spanish) forensic psychosocial evaluations for private clients engaged in the legal system. Most recently, Hugo has been working at the Nassau County Substance Alternative Clinic providing individual psychotherapy counseling services, while also running his private practice- Amicus Advocacy Group, which is a full service Forensic Social Work Practice.

Jennifer L. Coden, Esq. earned her bachelor’s degree, with honors, from the University of Massachusetts and her J.D. from Brooklyn Law School in 2001. Jennifer specializes in all areas of Family and Matrimonial Law having established the Law Offices of Jennifer L. Coden, PLLC in 2004. While her primary goal is to negotiate and achieve fair and advantageous settlements for her clients, she is also able to easily recognize when a matter cannot be settled and will utilize her extensive Court experience to obtain favorable results. Jennifer regularly appears in the Supreme and Family Courts of Nassau, Suffolk and Queens, she has lectured at LIU Post and taken part in LIU Post’s Mock Trial Symposium. Jennifer is a member of the Women’s Bar Association, Nassau County Bar Association and New York Bar Association.



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