Judge Steven Leifman of Miami-Dade County, Florida was recently named “Public Official of the Year” by Governing magazine for his commitment to addressing the high prevalence of mental illness among people in the criminal justice system.
Developing a Mental Health Court: An Interdisciplinary Curriculum
The Council of State Governments Justice Center talked to Richard Schwermer, Utah’s assistant state courts administrator, about mental health courts in his state and his use of Developing a Mental Health Court: An Interdisciplinary Curriculum, the CSG Justice Center’s free online multimedia curriculum for people and teams seeking to start, maintain, or learn about mental health courts.
For many jurisdictions, sustaining a mental health court program can prove challenging both monetarily and in terms of staff capacity. Grant funding often provides the seed money to plan or launch a mental health court. But obtaining additional funds to keep the program running once grants run out requires leveraging other funding streams and maintaining strong partnerships with stakeholders.
The tragedies of the past week weigh heavily on us. As public safety officials in our respective states, we were outraged to see the very people working to protect the public murdered because of the uniform they wear. We also feel deeply for residents of communities who, because of the color of their skin, fear the people who have sworn an oath to protect them.
As formal “mental health courts” (MHCs) enter their third decade in existence, policymakers are increasingly looking to distill the best of research and practice into state standards that foster high-quality programing and accountability for MHCs in their states.
The SOAR program assists states and localities to expedite access to the Social Security Administration’s disability programs—Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)—for persons who are experiencing or at risk for homelessness and have a mental illness, co-occurring substance use disorder, or other serious medical condition.
This program provides resources to state, local, and tribal governments and courts to enhance drug court programs and systems—including those related to opioid substance use disorders—for people charged with or convicted of nonviolent crimes who have substance use disorders.
Judicial Work at the Interface of Mental Health and Criminal Justice is a four-hour live interactive training designed for all judges who hear criminal cases. The program was created by judges and psychiatrists working in partnership with the American Psychiatric Association Foundation and the CSG Justice Center with input from The National Judicial College and SAMHSA’s GAINS Center for Behavioral Health and Justice Transformation.
As jurisdictions refine their practices within mental health courts they often seek additional information on using a phased approach as a way to structure program participation. How are program phases created? What makes them effective? How many program phases should a mental health court have? This webinar focusses on answering these questions and others.
This webinar for mental health court curriculum state trainers discusses strategies to utilize trauma-informed court approaches in mental health courts.
During this recorded live session, presenters reviewed cutting edge research on trauma and its impacts; explored best practices for trauma interventions, services, and the development of a trauma-informed approach; and identified specific considerations for utilizing a trauma-informed approach when working with people involved in the justice system.
This first annual report of the White House Legal Aid Interagency Roundtable documents interagency collaborations that support and protect people who are frequently overlooked and often underserved.
This fact sheet is geared toward youth justice advocates who need a basic primer on how the federal Victims of Crime Fund operates.
This toolkit from the National Juvenile Justice Network explains how Byrne Justice Assistance Grants are distributed, for what purposes, and how to get involved, with examples of creative ways in which states have been redirecting the funds to support young people and safer communities.
Lawmakers should expand the pool of mental health professionals that can perform competency exams on mentally ill criminal offenders, said South Dakota Supreme Court Chief Justice David Gilbertson.
“To tell somebody that if you can pay for this, you can get your charges dismissed, but if you are poor you are going to go through the system? That’s completely unfair,” said Mark Kammerer, who runs diversion programs for the Cook County state’s attorney in Chicago, where defendants are not charged a fee.
According to a new study by a Virginia Commonwealth University criminal justice professor, black juvenile defendants from counties with large black populations faced more punitive sanctions, and that areas with high levels of disadvantage and teenage populations were marked by elevated levels of incarceration.
“These programs are designed to try to link people to appropriate treatment services, stabilize them in the community, and to reduce the rate of re-arrest and recidivism, which is helpful not only to the individual and their family, but to the community and public safety,” said Steve Goss, state circuit court judge from Albany, Georgia.