National Alliance on Mental Illness
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CIT in Action
Special Convention Coverage
NAMI hosted its 30th annual convention this month in San Francisco. There were several prominent sessions related to criminal justice. Here are some of the highlights:
Prevention, Not Execution: Eliminating the Death Penalty for People with Severe Mental Illness
Contributor: Ron Honberg
Murder Victims Families for Human Rights and NAMI have released a report entitled Double Tragedies: Victims Speak Out Against the Death Penalty for People with Severe Mental Illness. The report calls the death penalty "inappropriate and unwarranted" for people with severe mental illnesses and "a distraction from problems within the mental health system that contributed or even directly led to tragic violence."
CIT and Veterans: A Natural Partnership
Contributor: Laura Usher
This year's CIT Special Networking Session featured a law enforcement officer and officials from the Veteran's Administration in a discussion of partnerships between CIT programs and the VA to better serve veterans with mental illnesses who are risk of involvement with the criminal justice system.
Other Convention News
Judge Stephen Manley Awarded Sam Cochran Criminal Justice Award
In recognition of his pioneering work with mental health courts, the Honorable Stephen Manley received the Sam Cochran Criminal Justice Award at the NAMI national convention.
Dr. Randolph Dupont Receives the Outstanding Psychologist Award
Dr. Randolph Dupont, best known as the co-founder of the Memphis Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) program, was awarded NAMI's Outstanding Psychologist Award for his work in advancing CIT.
Stakeholder Perspectives on Tasers and Less Lethal Weapons
This session addressed the controversial issue of the use of less lethal weapons such as Tasers and stun guns through a diverse panel of stakeholders.
Breaking the Cycle of Criminalization: The Growing Role of Specialty Courts
This symposium featured two leaders in the specialty court movement, who have worked both in California and nationally, to build collaborative partnerships between courts and the mental health system.
Learn More about the NAMI Convention
NAMI's newest and best resources on a variety of criminal justice topics are available online at NAMILand at Your Fingertips. In addition, many PowerPoint presentations from Convention sessions are available on the NAMI Web site.
Comments or Suggestions?
Please let us know what you think we should include in future editions of CIT in Action by emailing Laura Usher.