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The Criminalization of Mental Illness: Treatment, Imprisonment, or Both
October 7, 2021 6:30 pm @ October 7, 2021 6:30 pm - October 7, 2021 8:30 pm EDT
The Lesniak Institute together with Kean University is proud to present the following Forum , The Criminalization of Mental Illness: Treatment, Imprisonment, or Both on October 7th 2021.
The criminalization of mental illness has further perpetuated the stigmatization of the mentally ill, when obvious treatment options exist. For over 20 years, Mental Health Courts established in 38 states across the United States, have been paving the way for courts to rely on treatment and diversion rather than solely punitive measures. A growing amount of evidence demonstrates that both society and those with mentally illness benefit in the long term from treatment and not incarcerating the mentally ill. Since 2017, Mercer and Union county here at home in New Jersey has been using an informal Mental health court program to address non violent cases involving Mentally ill persons.
Legislation currently introduced and sponsored by Assemblyman Benson, Assemblywoman Speight, and Senator Cryan, would establish a pilot program for mental health courts. This is a good step, but we need to do more! Join the The Lesniak Institute in the fight for the permanent establishment of Mental Health Courts in all counties in New Jersey. The Forum will present proposed legislative changes, mental health diversions from criminal penalties, and demonstrate the need for our criminal justice system to change to better address the needs of the mentally ill. Now is the time for advocates to stand up for the Mentally ill and look critically at the faults that are inherent in our justice system, which have led to the criminalization and incarceration of the mentally ill.