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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. Judge Manley established one of the first mental health courts in the nation in Santa Clara County, CA, and has dedicated himself to assisting other communities in California in starting their own courts. Judge Manley has recently led an initiative to launch a specialty court for veterans with mental health concerns. In their announcement of the award, the NAMI National Board of Directors said, "Judge Manley’s innovative thinking and clear-eyed dedication to change is exactly what is needed to ensure that people with mental illness are treated appropriately by the criminal justice system." Congratulations to Judge Manley, a true national leader in advocating for more humane responses to justice-involved individuals with mental illnesses!

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. Dr. Dupont has embraced the importance of community partnerships in CIT programs by giving CIT a home at the University of Memphis. He is also the driving force behind much of the research showing CIT’s effectiveness. Dr. Dupont has worked tirelessly to promote CIT in Memphis and around the country. Finally, he is the co-chairman of the CIT International Board of Directors. Congratulations to Dr. Dupont; without his year of dedication, CIT would not be what it is today.

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. The panel included Major Sam Cochran, founder of the Memphis CIT program; Risdon Slate, PhD, professor of criminology at Florida Southern College; and J. Rock Johnson, J.D., a leading consumer advocate, and Ron Honberg, NAMI's Director of Policy and Legal Affairs. In addition to the perspectives of the panelists, the workshop featured information about less lethal weapons and a policy framework for the usage of these weapons.

To learn more about less lethal weapons, and NAMI’s position on them, visit the "Criminal Justice" section of NAMILand at Your Fingertips.

Breaking the Cycle of Criminalization: The Growing Role of Specialty Courts

Specialty courts, such as mental health courts and drug courts, have assumed a leadership role in efforts to break the cycle of unnecessary incarceration and link people with serious mental illness and co-occurring disorders with appropriate treatment and services. 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. The speakers were Judge Stephen Manley, of the Superior Court of Santa Clara County and recipient of this year’s Sam Cochran Criminal Justice Award, and Kathleen Connolly Lacey, program director at UCSF’s Citywide Case Management Program in San Francisco. The PowerPoints used by these presenters will be posted soon on NAMILand at Your Fingertips (see below for more information).

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 Website.