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Criminal Justice: Mental Health and the Courts (Free Program)

SKU: CR54830-191

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.

$ 0.00

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.

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.

NEIL A. BESSE

Neil A. Besse

Neil A. Besse, Office of the Primary Public Defender, San Diego, received his B.A. from Old Dominion University in 1991. He obtained his J.D. from the University of Georgia in 1996 after focusing on public interest law and death penalty litigation. Mr. Besse began his career as a San Diego Public Defender in 2000. He has worked in the downtown, El Cajon, and juvenile delinquency branches, as well the Sexually Violent Predator unit. In January 2016 he left felony supervision to form the office’s Defense Transition Unit which is centered on two Licensed Mental Health Clinicians who accept referrals directly from the Public Defenders. The DTU clinicians provide diagnostic feedback, prepare treatment plans, advocate in the courtroom, and transport clients directly from custody to treatment.

KAMEKA SMITH

Kameka Smith

Kameka Smith majored in Psychology and received her B.A from San Diego State University in 2007. After taking a few years off from school to work with foster children in locked group homes, she recognized the need for more clinical training. She returned to school in 2009 at the University of San Diego where she earned her MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling in 2011. Kameka has since worked in a number of community health agencies geared towards treating underserved populations such as Native Americans, transitional age youth, and juveniles at detention facilities facing mental health issues. After collecting 3000 post-graduate clinical hours, Kameka was able to obtain licensure as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor. Shortly after, she began work at the San Diego Public Defender’s Office with the Defense Transition Unit, where she receives referrals from public defenders and provides clinical assessments, treatment recommendations, client and program advocacy, and triage for clients currently in custody.

Products specifications
PRODUCT GROUP CLE
PRODUCT GROUP Digital
MCLE HOUR 0.5 - 2
PRACTICE AREA Criminal Law
SUBTOPICS General Interest
Products specifications
PRODUCT GROUP CLE
PRODUCT GROUP Digital
MCLE HOUR 0.5 - 2
PRACTICE AREA Criminal Law
SUBTOPICS General Interest