Training Module for Judges: Judicial Work at the Interface of Mental Health and Criminal Justice

Since 2010, the Judges' Leadership Initiative and Psychiatric Leadership Group have worked together to develop and pilot a training module for judges on individuals with mental illnesses and co-occurring substance use disorders in the criminal justice system. Led by a judge and a psychiatrist and featuring a presentation and video case studies with guided discussion, this interactive, skill-building training provides judges with knowledge of how behavioral health needs and criminogenic risk factors are likely to impact an individual's interactions with the criminal justice system, as well as relevant procedural options, ethical considerations, and effective collaborative treatment and supervision strategies. It is designed to optimize its potential application for and integration into judicial trainings at the local, state, and national levels. The American Psychiatric Foundation and the CSG Justice Center were joined by the National Judicial College and SAMHSA's GAINS Center for Behavioral Health and Justice Transformation as partners in the initial training development.

The training module has been piloted in Illinois and Wisconsin. At the invitation of Cynthia Cobbs, Director of the Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts, and through coordination by Justice Kathryn Zenoff, Chair of the Special Supreme Court Advisory Committee for Justice and Mental Health Planning for the Supreme Court of Illinois, the training was presented in Springfield, Illinois in May 2011. It was next delivered in Waukesha, Wisconsin in May 2012 at the invitation of Shirley S. Abrahamson, Chief Justice of the Wisconsin Supreme Court, and through coordination by David Hass, Director of the Wisconsin Office of Judicial Education. In October 2013, the training will be presented to Oregon's judiciary, at the invitation of the state Judicial Department's Office of Education, Training, and Outreach.

Judicial Work at the Interface of Mental Health and Criminal Justice is now accepting applications from judges who hear criminal cases and are interested in attending the four-hour live training. To read more specifics about the training and apply, click here.


If you, or someone you know is in suicidal crisis or emotional distress, click here for a list of resources.