Judge Leifman and Cindy Schwartz attended a stakeholders meeting held at NEOMED on October 19, 2016 and provided a presentation entitled, Ending the Criminalization of Mental Illness, the following day (October 20, 2016). Judge Leifman is an Associate Administrative Judge for Miami-Dade County Court in the Eleventh Judicial Criminal Mental Health Project and Cindy Schwartz is the Project Director for the Jail Diversion Program in the Eleventh Judicial Criminal Mental Health Project. Judge Leifman and Cindy Schwartz provided expertise regarding changes Miami-Dade has made in how they handle mentally ill individuals within the Criminal Justice system. Miami-Dade, Florida is a Stepping Up County that has made several strides to reduce the number of mentally ill individuals in jail. Check out the links and attachments provided by Judge Leifman and Cindy Schwartz to learn more about the programs and policies in Miami-Dade:
Miami-Dade Forensic Alternative Center (MD-FAC): Diverts individuals with mental illnesses that were adjudicated incompetent to proceed to trial (ITP) from placement in state treatment facilities to placement in community-based treatment and competency restoration services. Program participants have been charged with less serious offenses and are screened to ensure they do not pose public safety risks.