Reducing Justice Involvement For People with Mental Illness.

Conference Presentations & Videos


Encountering People with Autism: A First Responders’ Training
  • This short (approximately 20 minute) video provides first responders with practical information for recognizing the presence of autism as well as the behavioral implications and ideas for managing the encounter. The video was produced by M. Bartley and F. Caloiero for the Allegheny County District Attorney’s Association.
The Essential Elements of Reentry: Primary Care and the Transitions Clinic Approach
  • On October, 25, 2010, the National Reentry Resource Center, with the support of the Bureau of Justice Assistance, U.S. Department of Justice, hosted a webinar about implementation of the Transitions Clinic Model which is used in San Francisco to reintegrate recently released individuals that suffer from chronic illnesses back into the community.
The Growth of Incarceration in the U.S. (2014)
  • This video illustrates the findings of the National Research Council’s report The Growth of Incarceration in the United States: Exploring Causes and Consequences, which is also posted on our website. The report states that the nation's reliance on imprisonment has not clearly improved public safety and may have had large unwanted consequences for society.
  • To read the full report, please click here.
John Oliver on Prisons in America (July 2014)
  • John Oliver presents a serious (but humorous) and accurate overview of the state of prisons in America.
A National Initiative to Reduce the Number of People with Mental Illnesses in Jails (December 2014)
  • Recognizing the critical role local and state officials play in supporting change, the National Association of Counties (NACo) and the Council of State Governments (CSG) Justice Center are leading an unprecedented national initiative to help advance counties’ efforts to reduce the number of adults with mental illnesses and co-occurring substance use disorders in jails.
  • A new series produced by Brave New Films in partnership with the ACLU and The Nation profiles three promising and less expensive interventions that may actually change the course of people’s lives. We interviewed several members of the San Antonio police force. They report that they are much more confident and comfortable dealing with mental health crises after going through the CIT training.
PA House Democratic Policy Committee Public Hearing on Mental Health Issues and the Criminal Justice System (May 9, 2013)
  • View testimony from COE Senior Consultant, David DeMatteo, JD, Ph.D., Director of the JD/PHD Program in Law & Psychology and Associate Professor of Psychology & Law at Drexel University. Dave testified at the PA House Democratic Policy Committee on May 9 regarding mental health issues and the criminal justice system. Click here to view the full hearing.

The short video of the hearing is in the WMV format and is best viewed using a browser plugin that supports this file type, or you can download it and open it in Windows Media Player. To view it on a Mac, open the file in a media player that supports playback of WMV files (e.g., FlipPlayer).
Prison Health Care Panel (C-SPAN)
  • Watch the video -- The Alliance for Health Reform held an August 1st briefing on the challenges of delivering health care services to a growing prison population. Panelists include advocates and former inmates.
Special Courts Take on Criminal Cases of Veterans Struggling with Trauma (PBS News Hour)
  • Around the country, special courts are set up for former military members who have been charged with crimes after returning to civilian life, and who may be struggling with PTSD. Judges, lawyers, probation officers and others work together to treat or punish each defendant. Special correspondent Spencer Michels reports on how the new approach can offer troubled veterans a path forward.
Violence and Mental Illness: Finding the Haystack in a Needle
  • Dr. Jeff Swanson speaks on the topic of violence and mental illness. He highlights the low rate of violence among persons with serious mental illness and the difficulty predicting future violence. Jeff is a Professor in Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Duke University School of Medicine. He is a medical sociologist with expertise in psychiatric epidemiology, mental health services effectiveness research, and mental health law and policy studies.
  • In footage that is by turns deeply compelling and heart-wrenching, Gary Tsai and Hiroshi Hara's debut and award-winning documentary film, Voices, offers stories of three severely mentally ill individuals; as told by themselves and their families. Voices gently illuminates the real-life ambiguities and unanswered questions that can be especially trying in the lives of the people directly affected by serious mental illness. More information about the film can be found at
Voices of Jericho: Stories of Jail Diversion
  • Listen to first hand jail experiences from mental health consumers.


Addressing the Intersection Between Behavioral Health and the Criminal Justice System
  • It is often been noted that the largest mental health facilities in this country are local jails and state prisons. The Council of State Government estimated that 14 percent of men and 31 percent of woman in jail and state prison suffered from chronic and persistent mental illness in 2007. Addressing the Intersection Between Behavioral Health and the Criminal Justice System looks at two state-level strategies aimed at preventing those with chronic mental illness from either entering or returning to state and local justice systems. This webinar highlighted the training and technical assistance provided to counties by the Pennsylvania Mental Health and Justice Center of Excellence and Oklahoma’s Collaborative Mental Health Reentry Program. Presenters for this webinar included Dr. Patty Griffin, senior consultant, Mental Health and Justice Center of Excellence, Bob Mann, administrator of mental health operations, Oklahoma Department of Corrections (DOC),and Donna Bond, manager of correctional, criminal justice and reentry services, Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (ODMHSAS).
Webinar: The Affordable Care Act: Implications for the Criminal Justice System (Presented by the Council of State Governments' Justice Center, 2013)
  • People involved with the criminal justice system experience high rates of communicable and chronic disease, as well as mental health and substance use disorders. However, criminal justice practitioners often have difficulty connecting this largely low-income and uninsured population to necessary health care services. Beginning in 2014, many of these individuals will gain new access to health insurance as a result of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). This webinar features experts from the Center for Health Care Strategies, who will give an overview of the key provisions of the law and provide steps that criminal justice professionals can take now to prepare for the implementation of the applicable ACA provisions next year.
Assessing and Managing the Violence Risk among OEF/OIF Veterans (sponsored by Jail Diversion and Trauma Recovery, April 2012)
Annual Forensic Rights and Treatment Conference, Grantville, PA (Dec. 2015)
Annual Forensic Rights and Treatment Conference, Harrisburg, PA (Nov. 2012)
  • 20th Annual Forensic Rights and Treatment Conference Program and Schedule
  • Helping People to Live Safely with Mental Illness: Police Training and CIT (Joel Dvoskin, PhD)
    • In a sense, police and correctional officers may be the busiest mental health workers in America. Often, the first call made in response to a psychological or emotional crisis is to the police department, and all too often the person’s destination is not an emergency room, but jail. Whether they respond to a reported crime, an out-of-control inmate, or to conduct a welfare check on an allegedly suicidal person, well trained officers can give people in crisis the gift of kindness and safety. Untrained, however, the response of officers can be terrifying, harmful, and even deadly. Dr. Dvoskin discussed the appropriate role of well-trained police and correctional officers as mental health first responders.
  • Assessing the Need in Pennsylvania: The Center of Excellence Website, Conversations with Counties, and the State Survey (Kirk Heilbrun, Ph.D., Edward P. Mulvey, Ph.D., Carol A. Schubert, M.P.H., Katy Winckworth-Prejsnar)
    • This session shared lessons learned during the Center of Excellence Cross-Systems Mapping Workshops held in a number of Pennsylvania counties to date with a particular focus on the animated discussions and significant needs seen at Intercept 1 - the intersection of law enforcement and crisis services. The presentation also included results of a statewide survey of needs at Intercept 1.
  • Implementing CIT in Your Community (Developing and sustaining community collaboration, and getting buy-in) (Kristen Simpson, M.S., C.P.R.P., Director of Partial Hospitalization, Psychiatric Rehabilitation and Residential Programs at Scranton Counseling Center; Sergeant Robert Celuck, Scranton Police Department ; Marie Onukiavage, Executive Director of NAMI Scranton Area)
    • This session discussed the barriers faced when implementing CIT in the community while providing practical strategies for success, collaboration, and buy-in.
  • Probation & Parole’s Perspective on Special Police and Behavioral Health Response (Jennifer Lopez-Cerrato, Deputy Chief, Chester County Adult Probation/Parole; Jeff Imboden, State Parole Board Member)
    • Probation and parole personnel have a unique perspective regarding specialized police and behavioral response. This session discussed the intersection of law enforcement, probation/parole, and community services at both the state and local level.
  • Implementing Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) in Your County: Building on the Experience of Blair and Monroe Counties (Part 1, Part 2) (James Hudack, Blair County MH/MR Administrator; Jim Fouts, Director of New Perspectives Crisis Services, Monroe/Carbon/Pike Counties; Bryan Gibb, Director of Public Education, National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare)
    • MHFA is a groundbreaking early intervention public education program that teaches community members how to assist a person experiencing a behavioral health issue. Session provided descriptions of two different county programs that have successfully implemented MHFA and the hurdles they faced.
  • Law Enforcement and Crisis Services Working Together (Kenneth H. Watts, York/Adams HealthChoices Management Unit; CIT Co-Coordinators for Bucks County, Sergeant Andrew Aninsman and Sharon Curran, Associate Executive Director, Lenape Valley Foundation).
    • While much of the national discussion at Intercept 1 typically focuses on training for law enforcement, this session will instead focus on the critical role of crisis services and the ways crisis services and law enforcement can work together more effectively.
  • Addressing Veterans, Military Culture, and Trauma (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3) (Officer Patty Melendez, City of Pittsburgh Police Department; Julie Bergstresser, VJO Specialist, Lebanon VAMC)
    • Incarceration is one 9-1-1 call away for a combat veteran. Intrusive images can cause honorable military members to commit crime. Military families walk on egg shells to prevent flashbacks. Law enforcement needs specialized training to help wounded warriors, keep the community safe, and go home at the end of their shift. This session discussed the integration of military culture, trauma informed practices, and resources specifically for veterans into police response for this population.
  • Autism, Adolescence, Sexuality, and the Criminal Justice System: Addressing Needs Sooner Rather Than Later (Larry Sutton, PhD, Manager/Psychologist, Department of Public Welfare)
    • This presentation focused on a close examination of New Castle Adolescent Sexual Offenders Program in Pennsylvania, looking for the presence of autism spectrum disorder in its residents. Dr. Sutton discussed the research need defining emerging best practices in terms of identification and treatment for persons with developmental disabilities who become involved in criminal justice.
  • Teaching De-escalation Skills (Laurel Highlands Region Police CIT Program: Officer Dan Marguccio, City of Johnstown P.D., Law Enforcement Coordinator; Mike Thomas, Manager-Security Service, Conemaugh-Memorial Medical Center, CIT Officer, Windber PD; Tom Bender, Crisis Supervisor, Bedford-Somerset County MH/MR)
    • This interactive session will provide the audience with an overview of performance-based training involving the development of de-escalation techniques and crisis intervention skills via role-play scenarios
  • Piloting The Public Safety Version of Mental Health First Aid (Jean Wright, PsyD, Senior Advisor and Criminal Justice Coordinator, Philadelphia Department of Behavioral Health; Christina Finello, JD, PhD, Policy and Criminal Court Coordinator, Philadelphia Department of Behavioral Health; Discussant: Bryan Gibb, Director of Public Education, National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare)
    • MHFA teaches the skills needed to identify, understand, and respond to signs of behavioral health challenges or crises. First Aid is administered until appropriate treatment and support are received or until the crisis is resolved. Philadelphia is the first major metropolitan areas in the United States to pilot an 8-hour version of MHFA targeted for public safety staff.
  • Mental Health First Aid for Public Safety Employees (Bryan Gibb, Director of Public Education, National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare)
    • Mental Health First Aid is a groundbreaking public education program that helps the public identify, understand, and respond to signs of mental illnesses and substance use disorders. This session discussed the development of an 8-hour curriculum for law enforcement/public safety employees currently being piloted in Philadelphia with formal rollout planned for January 1, 2013.
  • Delaware County Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) (William Chambers, Delaware County Office of Behavioral Health)
    • Presentation gives overview and background of Delaware County CIT program.
  • Matrix of Acute Crisis Interventions Models (Devon Heberlig, Department of Public Welfare - Emergency Behavioral Health Coordinator)
    • Document compares and contrasts Psychological First Aid, Psychological First Aid as adapted by the Red Cross, and Mental Health First Aid.
  • Assessing the Implementation and Effectiveness of CIT
    • Center of Excellence presentation providing guidance for evaluating a CIT program at the community level.
Annual Forensic Rights and Treatment Conference, Grantville, PA (Nov. 2010)
  • Implementing Hearing Voices that are Distressing: This training curriculum, developed by Patricia Deegan, PhD and the National Empowerment Center in Massachusetts, is a simulation experience designed to allow participants to gain a better understanding of what it is like for a person with mental illness to hear voices.
  • Venango County Cross System Collaboration and Venango County Policies and Procedures for Information Sharing and Transport Venango County has developed policy and procedures regarding the exchange of information between first responders and the Venango County Mental Health System, developed in consultation with John Petrila, JD of the Florida Mental Health Institute, one of the foremost national authorities on legal issues around information sharing between law enforcement and behavioral health services.
  • CIT is more than training: Bucks County CIT Taskforce has created a program that includes different levels of training and support for law enforcement and behavioral health providers.
Annual Statewide Crisis Intervention Team Meeting in State College, PA (March 24, 2015)
Clinical Practice and Information Sharing: HIPAA, State Confidentiality Laws and Other Legal Issues
  • Presented by John Petrila at the 2013 Forensic Rights and Treatment Conference in Harrisburg, PA. Presentation covers how HIPAA applies (and does not apply) to sharing medical and behavioral health information between systems and agencies for justice-involved individuals from a national perspective and different models for information-sharing that are both effective and consistent with HIPAA.
CoE hosts delegates from Scotland
  • As part of the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF) and Police Scotland’s Leadership for Outcomes Program, the Center of Excellence hosted delegates from Scotland on February 4, 2016. View a summary and some pictures from the meeting by clicking here.
Presentation at the GAINS TAPA Center for Jail Diversion Easy Access Net/Teleconference (March 27, 2006)
  • Making Jail Diversion Work in Rural Counties: This is a presentation by Brown County (OH) and New River Valley (VA) on implementing CIT in rural communities. It covers initial barriers, planning stages, modifications and eventual implementation of pre-booking diversion programs in small, rural communities.
Housing and the Justice Involved
  • The Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD)'s mission is to improve the criminal justice system in Pennsylvania. The Commission helps coordinate the work of state and local criminal justice agencies by increasing communications, effectiveness and efficiency. Learn about the intersection between housing and people involved in the justice system. Presentation provides an introduction to these issues and covers the following topics:
    • Overview of PCCD - Who they are and what they do?
    • Programs and services available through Department of Public Welfare/OMHSAS
    • Overview of the Mental Health and Justice Advisory Committee
    Presenters iclude:
    • Judge John Zottola, Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas
    • Robert K. Merwine - PCCD
    • Patty Griffin, PhD, PA Mental Health and Justice Center for Excellence
    • Terry Moloney - DPW/OMHSAS
How to Build a Mentor Program for Your Veterans Treatment Court (Webinar Archive, May 2011)
  • A Veterans Treatment Court consists of the court itself, the VA, and veteran mentors. This session will help you understand and set up a vet mentoring program.
  • The link above also provides the presentation’s PowerPoint slides, a Volunteer Mentor Program Information Sheet, as well as examples of a veterans mentor log and a volunteer mentor program application.
Mental Health and Justice Advisory Board (MHJAC) Accomplishments
  • This May 2015 summary highlights the accomplishments of the MHJAC committee between 2009-2015.
Military Cultural Competence Webcast (sponsored by Jail Diversion and Trauma Recovery, May 2012)
  • Presented by Lt. Col. Tom Stokes. The training provides an overview of military culture to include organizational structure, rank, branches of service, core values, and demographics as well as similarities and differences between the Active and Reserve components. It is intended to assist civilian mental health providers in better understanding, communicating and effectively interacting with Service members and their families. There is no cost for this 2-hour online training.
National Leadership Forum on Behavioral Health/Criminal Justice Services (April, 2011)
  • Powerpoint presentation of behavioral health and justice involved populations presented by Administrator Hyde.
New York State’s Model Policies and Practices that Promote the Recruitment, Hiring, Retention, and Advancement of Peer Staff with Histories of Involvement with the Criminal Justice System
  • This GAINS Center webinar is now available online. The integration of peer support services in many criminal justice/behavioral health collaborations like reentry and diversion programs has created an opportunity to develop a workforce of trained peer staff whose experiences in the criminal justice and behavioral health systems mirror those of the populations being served by these programs. However, state laws and regulations often pose formidable barriers to hiring peer staff with histories of involvement in the criminal justice system. The webinar provided information about how New York State has collaborated with peer specialist training programs, providers, and advocates in creating a career path for peer staff. To access a recording of and the slides from this webinar, please visit the “Resources” tab of the JDTR page on the GAINS Center website.
PA Drug and Alcohol Conference: Treatment, Recovery and the Criminal Justice System (Apr. 2011)
Reducing Justice Involvement for People with Mental Illness
  • Presented by CoE members Carol Schubert and Amanda Cross at the 2013 Criminal Justice Advisory Board (CJAB) Conference in State College, PA. Topics covered include:
    • Some background regarding justice-involved individuals with mental illness
    • What is the PA Mental Health and Justice Center of Excellence?
    • Describe our primary functions
    • Discuss ways the COE may be of use to you
Statewide Crisis Intervention Team Meeting (March 23, 2016)
Supreme Court/VA Veterans Task Force Meeting (October 20, 2014)
  • Serving Incarcerated Veterans: This is a presentation by Christopher Reed, Otis Nash, and Krista Callear about the collaboration between the PA Department of Corrections (PADOC) and the PA Board of Probation and Parole (PBPP) to address the needs of veterans re-entering society. It discusses improving identification methods, utilizing Veteran Service Units and Community Corrections Centers, and providing uninterrupted continuity of care.
Traumatic Brain Injury in the Criminal Justice Population (presented by the Council of State Governments Justice Center, 2014)
  • This webinar discusses the prevalence of traumatic brain injury (TBI) and its implications for the criminal justice system. It also addresses the causes, consequences, and signs of TBI, as well as the relationship between TBI and co-occurring behavioral health disorders. Presenters share management strategies to improve responses and support services. This is particularly useful for practitioners, correctional and community supervision personnel, and service providers. To download a PDF of the PowerPoint presentation, click here.
Webinar Series: Use of Peer Support for Mentally Diagnosed Offenders
  • Part 1: Exemplary Models of Peer Support to Incarcerated Persons with Mental Illness (August 27, 2014)
    • Presenters highlight the innovative and successful peer support programs that the Iowa Department of Corrections and the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections have developed and implemented in many of their state correctional facilities. This session identifies some of the challenges each system has experienced in implementing peer support programs in these settings, and the strategies that they have used to overcome these challenges.
  • Part 2: How to Build Peer Support for Incarcerated Persons with Mental Illness (September 3, 2014)
    • This webinar focuses on the different approaches taken by the Iowa Department of Corrections and the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections in designing and implementing their peer support programs and the infrastructure needed to build, support, and sustain peer support programs in correctional facilities. The presenters also highlight key action steps that are needed to fund, develop, implement, sustain, and expand the availability of peer support in correctional facilities.
Webinar Archive: Measuring Program Performance in Mental Health Courts
  • The National Center for State Courts (NCSC) has developed and piloted a set of Performance Measurements for Mental Health Courts, which were released in October 2010. This webinar introduced the core and supplemental measures developed and piloted through the initiative and outlined "next steps" for the NCSC involving this initiative, as well as how interested courts can implement the proposed measures.