Dr. Elizabeth Ford
2022 Judge Stephen S. Goss award recipient
Dr. Elizabeth Ford has spent much of her 20–year career in direct care and leadership positions, working to improve treatment options for people with serious mental illnesses in the New York City (NYC) jail system, particularly Black, Indigenous, and People of Color populations. She currently serves as medical director for Justice Involved Persons at NYC’s Health + Hospitals and was their chief of psychiatry for Correctional Health Services until 2020. During that time, she also oversaw psychiatric services at Rikers Island, and under her leadership, the jail experienced its lowest suicide and drug overdose rates, becoming a national model for providing comprehensive services for mental health conditions and substance use disorders. Dr. Ford is also director of Mental Health and Criminal Justice Initiatives at the New York State Psychiatric Institute and author of the book, Sometimes Amazing Things Happen: Heartbreak and Hope on the Bellevue Hospital Psychiatric Prison Ward.