Behavioral Health and Justice System Interdisciplinary Models That Are Leading Change
A Session by Hon. Steve Leifman (Eleventh Judicial Circuit Court of Florida)
About this Session
Miami-Dade County Judge Steve Leifman, one of the nation’s foremost authorities on the criminalization of mental illness, will discuss the high rates of arresting, prosecuting, and incarcerating the mentally ill in the U.S. and how to reform the criminal justice system. He is a national leader in solving the complex and costly problem of people with untreated mental illnesses involved in the criminal justice system. In 2000, he launched a pioneering initiative in Miami-Dade County called the Eleventh Judicial Circuit Criminal Mental Health Project, which steers people with mental illnesses who do not pose significant threats to public safety away from the criminal justice system and into community-based treatment. He also started a Crisis Intervention Team program in Miami-Dade which teaches law enforcement officials to recognize the signs and symptoms of mental illness, how to de-escalate potentially dangerous situations, and where to take individuals in crisis rather than arresting them.