The Justice Center, in conjunction with the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), hosted a national technical assistance and training event on
July 15-17, in Washington, DC. Speakers at this event provided training to nearly 500 representatives from state and local governments and
community-based programs who are working to improve how the justice system addresses adults and juveniles with mental illnesses. Smart
Responses in Tough Times: Achieving Better Outcomes for People with Mental Illnesses Involved in the Criminal Justice System was the largest
training forum ever organized by BJA on this topic. Participation in the event was limited primarily to representatives from jurisdictions
that received grants through BJA’s Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Program (JMHCP), as well as those whose jurisdictions applied for
but did not receive funding from JMHCP.
To ensure that other policymakers and practitioners not in attendance can benefit from the wealth of expertise at this event, keynote
and plenary sessions were recorded and are now available online. The keynote speakers were former Washington Post journalist Peter Earley,
author of the memoir Crazy: A Father’s Search Through America’s Mental Health Madness; and Judge Steven Leifman, Special Advisor on
Criminal Justice and Mental Health for the Supreme Court of Florida.
The Justice Center has also archived PowerPoint slides and resources provided by the speakers at both the plenary and break-out sessions.
These sessions focused on issues such as screenings and assessments, youth with mental illnesses, trauma-informed care, and support from
county and state funding sources.
Thanks are due to the federal and organization partners who helped with the planning and implementation of the event including the
National Institute of Corrections (NIC), the Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Office of Juvenile
Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), U.S. Department of Justice, the Center for Mental Health Services’ National GAINS Center,
the Pretrial Justice Institute, and the National Association of Counties.
For more information about this event and the posting of related materials, please contact Elizabeth Dodd at firstname.lastname@example.org.