Judicial Task Force Studying Serious Mental Illness to Release Final Report and Recommendations on Oct. 25

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Molly Justice
Director of Communications & Online Media
(757) 259-1564

Judicial Task Force Studying Serious Mental Illness to Release Final Report and Recommendations on Oct. 25

Media event to include remarks from Miriam Delphin-Rittmon, Ph.D.

Williamsburg, Va., Oct. 19

WHAT: After a multi-year investigation, the National Judicial Task Force to Examine State Courts’ Response to Mental Illness will release its findings and recommendations, to assist state courts to respond to the needs of court-involved individuals with serious mental illness. Speakers will highlight the potential impacts of the recommendations and the effective partnerships created between the nation’s state courts and the key federal agencies involved with the needs of individuals living with serious mental illness. The recommendations were recently endorsed by the Conference of Chief Justices and Conference of State Court Administrators.

WHO: Chief Justice Paul L. Reiber (Vermont) and Chief Administrative Judge Lawrence Marks (New York), co-chairs of the Task Force, will present highlights from the report at a virtual news briefing. Commentary and remarks will be offered by Miriam E. Delphin-Rittmon, Ph.D., Health and Human Services Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use and the leader of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA); Dr. Sarah Y. Vinson, Interim Chair, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Morehouse School of Medicine, Atlanta, Ga.; and Judge Nan Waller, Multnomah County, Oregon, recipient of NCSC’s 2022 William H. Rehnquist Award for Judicial Excellence.

WHEN: Tuesday, October 25, 2022 at 4 p.m. Eastern

WHERE: Virtual Event on Zoom Webinar. Register here.

  • Nearly one in five U.S. adults live with a mental illness—over 50 million in 2019— and over 13 million adults suffer from serious mental illness.
  • On any given day, approximately 380,000 people with mental illnesses are in jail or prison across the U.S., and another 574,000 are under some form of correctional supervision.
  • For too many individuals with serious mental illness, substance use disorder, or both, the justice system is the de facto entry point for obtaining treatment and services.
  • The prevalence of mental illness in the United States has an enormous impact on states and communities and a disproportionate impact on our state and local courts.
  • People with mental illnesses in the U.S. are 10 times more likely to be incarcerated than they are to be hospitalized. Every year, approximately 2 million arrests are made of people with serious mental illnesses.
  • More than 70 percent of people in American jails and prisons have at least one diagnosed mental illness or substance-use disorder, or both. Up to a third of those incarcerated have serious mental illnesses.
  • It is not just a criminal justice issue. Adults, children, and families with behavioral health needs impact every aspect of the court system, including civil, probate, domestic relations, guardianship, juvenile, and child welfare cases.