Southington probate judge to speak at hording disorder conference

Probate Judge Matt Jalowiec (R-Southington, Cheshire)

The Cheshire-Southington Probate Court announced that Judge Matthew Jalowiec has been selected as a keynote speaker for the third annual Connecticut Conference on Hoarding at Central Connecticut State University in New Britain on Thursday, May 25.

The conference, presented by the Connecticut Division of Criminal Justice, focuses on developing community response strategies to work with individuals with hoarding disorder by integrating a variety of resources. Complex case studies will be presented, requiring thoughtful intervention from the community including implications from a code, safety and emergency response perspective.

Compulsive hoarding, also known as hoarding disorder, is a pattern of behavior that is characterized by excessive acquisition and an inability or unwillingness to discard large quantities of objects that cover the living areas of the home and cause significant distress or impairment.

Compulsive hoarding behavior has been associated with health risks, impaired functioning, economic burden, and adverse effects on friends and family members.  When clinically significant enough to impair functioning, hoarding can prevent typical uses of space, enough so that it can limit activities such as cooking, cleaning, moving through the house, and sleeping.

It can also put the individual and others at risk of fires, falling, poor sanitation, and other health concerns.

Compulsive hoarders may be aware of their irrational behavior, but the emotional attachment to the hoarded objects far exceeds the motive to discard the items.

Speakers include representatives from the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection and Emergency Management, the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, the Department of Children and Families (DCF), as well as the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Jalowiec has been selected to present on the legal framework in which services can be implemented for individuals while ensuring due process rights are provided and other constitutional protections afforded afflicted individuals.

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