Nominations Are Open for the 2023 Judge Stephen S. Goss Memorial Awards

January 24, 2023

In 2021, the Judges’ and Psychiatrists’ Leadership Initiative (JPLI) established two awards in honor of the late Judge Stephen S. Goss, presented during the annual JPLI Leadership Summit to one judge and one psychiatrist who have demonstrated extraordinary leadership in improving the lives of people with behavioral health needs in the criminal justice system. These awards acknowledge Judge Goss’ tireless efforts to rethink how judges handle cases for defendants with behavioral health needs. Now in their third year, the Judge Stephen S. Goss Memorial Awards will be presented for the first time in person ahead of the American Psychiatric Association annual conference in San Francisco, CA.

Anyone interested in nominating a judge or psychiatrist whose work demonstrates excellence and leadership must submit a nomination form by March 17, 2023. Applicants who want to be considered for these awards can also submit the form themselves by the deadline.

 

Access the nomination Form

 

Award recipients will be chosen by a selection committee comprised of JPLI members and will be expected to attend the Third Annual JPLI Leadership Summit. Travel will be covered for all winners, who will be announced publicly in May 2023. 

Addressing the needs of people with behavioral health conditions is core to the mission of the JPLI. The initiative was established to help judges and psychiatrists across the U.S. work in concert to improve the lives of some of our society’s most vulnerable people. We, at The Council of State Governments Justice Center and the American Psychiatric Association Foundation, welcome the opportunity to highlight the many ways judges and psychiatrists are demonstrating leadership through this award, whether by recognizing someone who has helped make needed connections to treatment or someone who has pursued broader policy changes.  

Last year’s winners included psychiatrist Dr. Elizabeth Ford for her 20-year career in direct care and leadership positions, working to improve treatment options for people with serious mental illnesses in and upon leaving the New York City jail system, and First Justice of the West Roxbury Division of the Boston Municipal Court, Judge Kathleen Coffey for her work as the director of Specialty Courts for the eight divisions of the Boston Municipal Court Department. A Lifetime Achievement Award was also presented to the Honorable Milton Mack, for his work on the National Initiative Advisory Committee, which he co-chaired from 2019 to 2020, resulting in the establishment of the National Judicial Task Force to Examine State Courts’ Response to Mental Illness.  

About the Judges’ and Psychiatrists’ Leadership Initiative 

The Judges’ and Psychiatrists’ Leadership Initiative 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. 


About Judge Stephen S. Goss 

Judge Goss served on the Superior Court of the Dougherty Judicial Circuit in Georgia for 19 years. During that time, he founded the Dougherty Superior Court Mental Health/Substance Abuse treatment program, where he presided until he was appointed to serve as a judge on the Court of Appeals of Georgia in 2018. Judge Goss was also a regular contributor to the JPLI’s work. In addition to his leadership in his home state of Georgia, he traveled the country to provide training on behavioral health to judges.  

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