In honor of the late Judge Stephen S. Goss, the Judges and Psychiatrists Leadership Initiative (JPLI) has established an award to acknowledge his tireless efforts to rethink how judges and others handle cases for defendants with behavioral health needs. In addition to his leadership in his home state of Georgia, Judge Goss was a regular contributor to the JPLI’s work, traveling the country to provide training on behavioral health to judges and advising on numerous policy guides. The Judge Stephen S. Goss Memorial Award will recognize one judge and one psychiatrist who have demonstrated extraordinary leadership in improving the lives of people with behavioral health needs who are involved in the criminal justice system.
This focus on addressing the needs of people with behavioral health conditions is in line with the mission of the JPLI, which exists because judges and psychiatrists across the U.S. have stepped up to improve the lives of some of our society’s most vulnerable. Whether someone has helped an individual by making needed connections to treatment or pursued broader policy changes, we welcome the opportunity to highlight the diversity of leadership that occurs every day through this award. The winners will be selected by a committee based on the impact of their work, including both their use of research-backed strategies and their innovative spirit. In keeping with the JPLI’s commitment to equitable outcomes in justice and health, a demonstrated commitment to advancing equity will be among the selection criteria.
The JPLI is a partnership between The Council of State Governments Justice Center and the American Psychiatric Association Foundation; it aims to stimulate, support, and enhance efforts by judges and psychiatrists to improve judicial, community, and systemic responses to people with behavioral health needs involved in the justice system.
Award photo credit: Sergign via Envato
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