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News and Announcements

NAMI National Convention To Feature CIT

The NAMI National Convention is fast approaching! The Convention will take place in Orlando, Florida and is scheduled for June 13-16.There are several sessions related to CIT and criminalization planned, including:

  • Saturday June 14, 2:00-3:30: Opening Plenary: Treatment, Not Jail. This session will feature Judge Steven Leifman, discussing Florida’s Mental Health/Criminal Justice Transformation Project.
  • Saturday June 14, 9:45-12:30: Special Session: CIT – A Model for All Communities. This session will feature the CIT programs of Johnstown, PA and Chicago, IL and will be moderated by Major Sam Cochran.

For more information about the Convention, visit our website

CIT National Conference: Call for Presentations Extended 

Organizers of the 2008 CIT National Conference announced that they are extending the deadline for submissions for presentations to June 16th. Examples of specialty tracks the that organizers are planning include: Developing a CIT Program, Evolving and Expanding Your CIT Program, Tools and Resources for CIT Officers, Research, Clinical Programs and Interventions, Effective Community Collaboration and Initiatives, and Consumer Perspective/Issues.  Workshops addressing other areas will also be given consideration by the Committee. For a copy of the submission form, go to the NAMI Georgia website.  Submissions should be postmarked by June 16, 2008 and sent to:

Georgia Bureau of Investigation
Attn: Rhiannon Morgan
3121 Panthersville Road
Decatur, GA 30034
Fax: 770-270-8810

Vermont Legislature Passes Justice Reinvestment Act    

This month, the Vermont Legislature passed a bill designed to cut corrections spending and reinvest the money in programs for substance abuse treatment, vocational training and transitional housing for justice involved individuals. Vermont’s prison population has doubled in the last decade, even though violent crime has declined. The bill would cut $3 million from the corrections budget by closing one correctional facility and reorganizing two other facilities. Funding to care for inmates’ acute mental health needs was cut from the bill. Governor Douglas is expected to sign the bill. To learn more, listen to Vermont Public Radio’s story on the legislation or read the bill.

JusticeCenterSeeks Four Law Enforcement Agencies to Serve as Reentry Learning Sites

The Council of State Governments Justice Center, in partnership with the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF), has issued a request for applications from law enforcement agencies interested in participating in a Law Enforcement Reentry Learning Sites Initiative. This initiative will focus on the law enforcement response to the large numbers of individuals returning to the community from prison and jail each year, many of whom are re-arrested for a new crime or re-incarcerated for violating their conditions of release. The project overview and application are available on the Justice Center's reentry and law enforcement web page. For more details, contact Laura Draper at 646-383-5722. Applications must be submitted by June 16, 2008 to:

Council of State Governments Justice Center
100 Wall Street, 20th Floor,
New York, NY 10005
Fax: 212-482-2344

Unique Award Presented to Kellie Meyer and NAMI Indiana

Over the past few years, NAMI Indiana has worked extensively with the Indiana Department of Corrections on a variety of initiatives to better prepare correctional officers to respond effectively and compassionately to inmates experiencing the symptoms of serious mental illnesses.  Thus, NAMI Indiana’s Kellie Meyer was not surprised when she recently received a call requesting her presence at a meeting with the Commissioner of the Department, J. David Donahue.   However, she was surprised when she walked into the meeting room and was presented with an award by Commissioner Donahue and his top staff for her stellar work in “unlocking the mysteries of mental illness in corrections.”  This was not any old award either.  The award was presented in the form of an old lock from a prison cell mounted on a wood block.  According to Kellie, “it must weigh at least 50 pounds!” 

NAMI Indiana has spearheaded a number of initiatives to unlock the mystery of mental illness in the correctional system, including training of correctional staff throughout the state and Peer to Peer training in a number of correctional facilities.  Kellie would be the first to tell you that she has not done this alone and that many others within NAMI Indiana, including current President Teresa Hatten, Past-President Joe Vanable, Mike Kempf, NAMI Indiana Executive Director Pamela McConey and Joan Lafuze should be credited as well for these remarkable programs.  Congratulations to Kellie and to everyone at NAMI Indiana who have worked so hard to make these programs a success!

Helpful Links:

NAMI National Convention

NAMI’s In Our Own Voice Education Program

Council of State Governments Justice Center