Draft Report from Forensic Issues Dialogue Session
August 23-26, 2001
||Mary Jadwisiak, Tom Lane|
||Jeanette Cord (Session 1 only)
||Session 1, August 23, 2001|
Goal: To develop an action plan, building on the work done at the
National Summit of Mental Health Consumers and Survivors in Portland, Ore., and
at Summit 2000, in Washington, D.C.
Issues:Determining competency in a criminal proceeding can add a great deal of time
to incarceration compared to the pre-trial incarceration, when competency is not
Other equality issues (when competency is an issue) include bail and
Education of magistrates, judges, law enforcement.
Forensic issues (beyond incarceration) include pre-sentencing and
There is a need for research to evaluate programs. Jean Campbell, Ph.D., has
offered to help with this.
There is no standard for assessing/screening for mental health status of
The criminal justice system is accessible 24/7; the mental health system is
Mental Health Courts (community-based, not statewide) exist in Washington,
Alabama, Alaska, California, New York
[There is a need for] alternatives outside the mental health system.
What do the police need to know?
- The distinction between a crime and a
mental health crisis.
- Alternative placements.
- National certification
- Relief for their own mental health issues.
Correctional/hospital staff needs:
- Understanding of medication and
- Sucide prevention (suicide is the number 1 cause of
death in jail).
Incarceration settings: Formularies are different from those outside of
When you are in jail, you lose all your benefits. When you get out of jail,
your benefits resume after you re-apply.
How would you implement police training? Four time frames:
Pre-incarceration, Arrest, Incarceration, Post-incarceration
Other comments and concerns:
The need for public education.
Methods for eliminating the "revolving door."
We have a social responsibility to treat people well which goes beyond
The need for wellness projects.
Services/activity while in jail: Therapy, peer support,
meaningful/challenging activity, socialization.
Modification of Department of Corrections regulations to allow accommodation
of persons with mental health issues.
Citizens need to be informed so they can effectively make an impact on
Places/settings for diversion.
An example of an alternative to jail and hospital:
Crisis intervention center
Mental health court
80 Percent of people with mental illnesses have co-occurring substance abuse
A clear definition of the term "forensic" is needed.
How will mental health and physical health parity be reconciled in
Private insurance does not cover anything in jail.
Federal guidelines for Medicaid, etc., are interpreted separately by each
state based on the block-grant application.
Speedy resumption of benefits and resources after release is imperative to
The suggestion was made to identify two to three key areas for
Appropriate treatment while incarcerated
Changing culture in law enforcement.
(List is incomplete.)
One of the facilitators suggested these areas for priority
Collaboration between mental health and law enforcement.
Release services: Case managers for those released.
In-jail services: Consumer review, consumer outreach teams, jail
Public Relations on Best Practices
Other suggestions and questions:
Make a list of fundamental over-riding principles that will impact the
Accountability: What are the ethical/moral implications governing access to
records and mental health information?
Involuntary Outpatient Commitment
The issue was raised concerning how one is treated when identified as
Stigma and Research (overlapping areas common to all planks)
Training for parole officers assigned to persons with mental health
Information about what is actually being done at the local level
Pending and recently passed legislation.
There is a great deal of work being done in addition to this
Council of mental health professionals
Mental heath courts
National Association of State Mental Health Directors
Increasing cross-system collaboration.
Addendum: Participants expressed a desire to find out what is being
done currently in regard to model programs and strategies to address the needs
of persons coming in contact with the criminal justice system in three areas:
Pre-arrest diversion, services and supports while people are in correctional
settings (primarily jails but also prisons), and post-release/transitional
supports, including better education for probation and parole staff. The value
and potential of peer-operated services and supports was also stressed.
Information about model programs has been compiled and included in the
Council of State Governments Mental Health/Criminal Justice Consensus
Session 2: August 24, 2001
||Tom Lane(Session 2 only)
||Session 2, August 24, 2001|
Information Resources: National Forensic Resource and Information
Consumer/survivor-run national technical assistance centers
It is very difficult to formulate a plan because ordinances, laws, customs,
resources and procedures vary widely from locality to locality across the
Goals: Information and Referral Clearinghouse
Medical Examiner, Criminal Justice staff, police, commissioners, non-mental
Goal: Advocacy Training
There was a vote to spend the remainder of
the time focusing on these two goals: Information and Referral Clearinghouse and
Objectives toward meeting identified goals:
Information and Referral
Local next steps: Invite police, commissioners,
mental health agencies, judges, etc., to come together and
Allies: police, commissioners, non-mental health service
systems, community leaders, trade associations, clergy, advocates,
P&As (Protection and Advocacy agencies) are in every state and should be
used as a resource. They are federally funded. They deal with all disabilities
and do not necessarily prioritize mental health.
Gather information in your community, and contact: Tom Lane email@example.com
Department of Justice
States Justice Institute
Department of Corrections
Center for Disease Control
First Data Resources: This is a commercial data collection service.
The group was charged with researching existing peer training programs and
Research current programs.
Develop a curriculum.
Group to develop and/or review curriculum: former inmates (mental health
consumers), peer advocates, corrections staff, counselors, institutional program
directors, regular mental health consumers, educators, chaplains (faith-based
professionals), technical assistance staff.
Back to Summit 2000
Back to first Summit