How Do We Create a Truly Just Criminal Justice System for Everyone, Including Individuals with Mental Health Conditions?
Tuesday, June 30, 2015 at 12:43PM
Date: June 25, 2015
This webinar – presented by three prominent experts in criminal justice issues – covered an array of topics, including:
- the movement for social justice whose goal is to cut the incarceration rate in half by 2030 while reducing crime;
- how to support individuals with mental health conditions who are incarcerated and how to help them transition successfully into the community;
- diversion models to prevent or minimize incarceration, including the Nathaniel Project, the first alternative-to-incarceration program in Manhattan Supreme Court for adults with serious mental health conditions convicted of felony offenses,
The U.S. has the highest prison population rate in the world. The reason for such high incarceration rates is not serious crimes but misguided policies such as mandatory minimums, three-strikes laws and reductions in the availability of parole and other early release mechanisms. The high incarceration rate is significant to individuals with mental health conditions because persons with mental health conditions are disproportionately incarcerated when compared to persons who do not have mental conditions. In fact, more than half of all those incarcerated in prison and jail had a mental health problem according to a Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) report issued in 2006 – the most recent BJS information available. Once incarcerated, they are more likely to incur disciplinary infractions, and Human Rights Watch recently reported that individuals with mental health conditions in jails and prisons are routinely physically abused by guards. They are also less likely to be released on bail, and they have longer jail and prison terms. In addition, they are more likely to incur technical probation violations once released.
- Glenn E. Martin is the founder and president of JustLeadershipUSA (JLUSA), an organization dedicated to cutting the U.S. correctional population in half by 2030. He is a national leader and criminal justice reform advocate who spent six years in New York State prisons. Prior to founding JLUSA, he served for seven years as vice president of development and public affairs at The Fortune Society and six years as co-director of the National HIRE Network at the Legal Action Center. He is co-founder of the Education from the Inside Out Coalition, a 2014 Echoing Green Black Male Achievement Fellow, a 2012 America’s Leaders of Change National Urban Fellow, and a member of the governing boards of the College and Community Fellowship, Prisoners’ Legal Services, the Petey Greene Program, the Reset Foundation, theNew York Foundation, and California Partnership for Safe Communities. He also holds prestigious positions on several other boards. Mr. Martin regularly contributes his expertise to national news outlets such as MSNBC, Fox News, CNN, Al Jazeera and CSPAN.
- Dan Abreu, MS CRC LMHC has been a senior project associate at Policy Resource Associates since 2005. A senior technical assistance specialist for SAMHSA’s GAINS Center for Behavioral Health and Justice Transformation, Mr. Abreu provides technical assistance and support to the states that received Jail Diversion and Trauma Recovery – Priority to Veterans grants, as well as the communities that were awarded SAMHSA Adult Treatment Court Collaborative grants. He also serves as a senior technical assistance specialist for PRA’s SAMHSA-funded Service Members, Veterans and their Families (SMVF)Technical Assistance Center. Mr. Abreu is a former associate director of operations at Central New York Psychiatric Center (CNYPC) and oversaw discharge planning activities for individuals with mental health conditions, as well as development and implementation of the Sing Sing Community Orientation and Re-entry Program (CORP). He formerly held positions with CNYPC as regional supervisor and chief of mental health services at Sing Sing Correctional Facility. Previously, Mr. Abreu coordinated jail mental health services in Albany and Rensselaer counties in New York State.
- Ann-Marie Louison joined CASES in 1999 and is the co-founder of the Nathaniel Project, the first alternative-to-incarceration program in Manhattan Supreme Court for adults with serious mental health conditions convicted of felony offenses, which received the 2002 Thomas M. Wernert Award for Innovations in Community Behavioral Healthcare. In June 2003, the Project was licensed by the New York State Office of Mental Health to provide evidence-based Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) services. Ms. Louison became Director of Mental Health Programs in 2002, overseeing Nathaniel ACTand subsequently launching the EXIT and Transitional Case Management programs. In 2011, CASES merged its Criminal Court and Mental Health programs into a new program group, Adult Behavioral Health, which Ms. Louison currently co-leads. She is also a consultant to the Council of State Governments (CSG) Justice Center. Frequently sought as a national expert on jail diversion, in 2010 she participated on a panel of national experts convened by the National GAINS Center to reflect on conclusions from SAMHSA’s Targeted Capacity Expansion Jail Diversion cross-site evaluation.
- Christa Burkett, technical assistance coordinator of the National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse, will facilitate.