Criminal Justice: Mental Health and the Courts (Free Program)
Find out about the challenges of representing defendants with mental health issues, the work of the Defense Transition Unit, and how criminal justice is evolving to address mental health issues.
1 hour MCLE Credit
Recorded 9/23/17 at the Public Service Law Conference, Civil Rights in the 21st Century. The first combined conference of UC’s four law schools focused on public interest, it was developed by UC Office of the President in partnership with CEB.
In this session, Neil A. Besse and Kameka Smith of the Defense Transition Unit of the San Diego County Office of the Primary Public Defender, discuss the challenges of representing defendants with mental health issues, the work of the Defense Transition Unit, and how criminal justice is evolving to address mental health issues.
It is far too common for individuals with mental health issues to get caught up in the criminal courts. Without access to the resources to effectively address underlying mental health issues, some defendants can end up returning to criminal court all too frequently. Judges, attorneys, and others working in criminal justice have long recognized that criminal prosecution and incarceration of such individuals is ineffective at solving the underlying problems and a huge drain on limited court resources. The Defense Transition Unit is one of the efforts being made help defendants get out of the criminal justice system by helping them access resources to address their underlying mental health issues.