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Virtual Event – Decriminalizing Mental Illness

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Decriminalizing Mental Illness

This is a virtual event for PsychU members in Arizona, California, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, North Carolina, and Ohio.

U.S. correctional institutions, local courts, and police officers frequently encounter people with untreated mental health disorders. Once incarcerated, individuals with mental illness tend to stay longer in jail and upon release are at a higher risk to incarceration than those without mental illness. Many communities have developed strategies to redirect people with mental illnesses away from the criminal justice system. These approaches can have long-lasting benefits such as reduction in inappropriate arrests and incarcerations, recidivism rates, and costs.

In this webinar, Judge Steven Leifman and Justin Volpe will examine statistics and demographics of individuals in the criminal justice system with a focus on those with mental health disorders. The speakers will discuss the different types of jail diversion services available for individuals with a mental health disorder within the criminal justice system. Specifically, they will review an example of a successful jail diversion program – Eleventh Judicial Circuit Criminal Mental Health Project – and its positive outcomes. Lastly, the speakers will review available resources for caregivers and patients navigating the criminal justice system.


  • Steven Leifman, JD

    Associate Administrative Judge, Miami-Dade County Court – Criminal Division

  • Justin Volpe,

    Certified Recovery Peer Specialist, Miami-Dade County’s 11th Judicial Criminal Mental Health Project Jail Diversion Program

  • Elizabeth DiNapoli, PhD (OPDC)

    Senior Clinical & Scientific Liaison

Speakers Steven Leifman, JD and Justin Volpe are paid consultants for Otsuka Pharmaceutical Development & Commercialization, Inc. Speaker Elizabeth DiNapoli, PhD is an employee of Otsuka Pharmaceutical Development & Commercialization, Inc.


This event registration is closed.