Michelle R. O`Brien

Michelle R. O’Brien, JD, is a Principal Court Management Consultant with the National Center for State Courts. Prior to working with NCSC, Ms. O’Brien was the Executive Director of the Illinois Center of Excellence for Behavioral Health and Justice where she provided statewide and local training and technical assistance for jurisdictions working with justice-involved persons with behavioral health disorders to improve program designs, policies, and case processing. She was also the Specialty Courts Administrator and a Winnebago County Assistant State’s Attorney for Winnebago County, Illinois. Ms. O’Brien helped develop the mental health court for Winnebago County and served as the prosecutor from its inception in 2005. With 28 years of experience in the criminal justice system, Ms. O’Brien has specialized in the effective administration of courts using evidence-based principles to guide initiatives from implementation to long-term impact sustainability. Ms. O’Brien is a past board member of the Illinois Association of Problem-Solving Courts, the past president and past board member of the Mental Health Court Association of Illinois, and past board member of the Illinois Association of Drug Court Professionals. She is the past president of the Winnebago County Bar Association. Ms. O’Brien is a contributor of a chapter in The Sequential Intercept Model and Criminal Justice, contributor and editor to the Illinois Department of Human Services Forensic Handbook, and a peer reviewer for the National Association of Drug Court Professionals’ Adult Drug Court Best Practice Standards, Volume II. She is a facilitator of the Sequential Intercept Model (SIM), Upstream Strengthening Children and Families, and Juvenile Justice Mapping. She has facilitated numerous cross-system information sharing and collaborations between justice and behavioral health partners. She is a trainer for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s How Being Trauma-Informed Improves Criminal Justice System Responses and is a trainer for the Council of State Governments’ Mental Health Court Curriculum. Ms. O’Brien received her JD from Drake University Law School and received a BA in Criminal Justice from Simpson College.