DBHDS News Releases
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 9, 2013
Conference to Improve Partnership, Collaboration Between
Mental Health and Criminal Justice Systems To be Held This Week
Conference seeks to facilitate partnerships leading to enhanced services and improved outcomes
for individuals with mental illness involved in Virginia’s criminal justice system
WHAT: This week, the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services (DBHDS) will host a conference that offers cross-systems education to Virginia’s legal and mental health stakeholders. The conference, “Cross System Collaboration between Legal and Mental Health Partners,” aims to facilitate partnership and collaboration between the two systems and ultimately improve outcomes for individuals with mental illness who are involved in the criminal justice system. Media are invited to attend.
WHO: Attendees include criminal justice representatives and mental health professionals and stakeholders from across Virginia, specifically: Judges from Circuit, General District Courts, and Juvenile and Domestic Relations Courts, Commonwealth Attorneys and public defenders, representatives from community services boards, staff from state psychiatric hospitals, advocacy groups, and individuals receiving services and family members. Expert National Speakers include:
- The Honorable Steve Leifman is a county judge of the Miami-Dade County Court of Florida. He chaired the Court’s Mental Health Subcommittee which authored a ground-breaking report entitled, Transforming Florida’s Mental Health System. He also chairs the Florida Supreme Court’s Task Force on Substance Abuse and Mental Health Issues.
- Stephen Bush is the supervising attorney for special litigation for the Public Defender’s System in Shelby County, Tennessee. He is the coordinator for The Jericho Project in Shelby, which provides safe, supervised release options for persons with serious mental illness and with co-occurring substance use disorders.
- William Kellibrew is an international motivational speaker currently consulting with SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration).
- Pete Earley, former Washington Post reporter and author, is best known for his book, “CRAZY: A Father’s Search through America’s Mental Health Madness.” He advocates for strong mental health reform.
WHEN: Thursday, September 12, 2013 – Friday, September 13, 2013
Day 1: 8:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.; Day 2: 8:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
WHERE: Sheraton Virginia Beach Oceanfront Hotel
3501 Atlantic Ave, Virginia Beach, VA 23451
BACKGROUND: There are significant numbers of adult defendants with mental illness who come in contact with the criminal justice system. This fact leads to increased interaction between legal and mental health professionals. The purpose of the conference is to provide a forum where legal and mental health professionals can share perspectives and information, gain a better understanding and appreciation of each other’s systems and improve interdisciplinary collaboration. The conference will include national speakers and Virginia experts and is made possible by a federal grant from Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).
Available to citizens statewide, Virginia’s public behavioral health and developmental disabilities services system is comprised of 40 community services boards (CSBs) and 16 state facilities. DBHDS seeks to promote dignity, choice, recovery, and the highest possible level of participation in work, relationships, and all aspects of community life for individuals with mental illness, developmental disabilities or substance-use disorders.
1220 Bank Street • P.O. Box 1797 • Richmond, Virginia 23218-1797
Phone: (804) 786-3921 • Fax: (804) 371-6638 • Web site: www.dbhds.virginia.gov
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