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2018 Matthew J. Ryan Law and Public Policy Forum

Creating and Facilitating Best Practice Alternatives to Jails and Prisons for Persons with Mental Illness

March 16, 2018

8 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Two million persons with mental illness are booked into jail each year in the United States according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness. The criminal justice system is not equipped to treat such individuals, and the consequences for an arrest and incarceration can be catastrophic for the persons and families.

The 2018 Matthew J. Ryan Law and Public Policy Forum will look at the challenges facing law enforcement officials, the courts, mental health professionals and policy makers at the state and county levels. Attendees will hear from experts who have been working on the issue in Pennsylvania and around the country as they share best practices, as well as ongoing legal and practical challenges to the development of appropriate treatment options in suitable settings.

The event takes place on Friday, March 16 from 8 a.m. – 1 p.m. in the Laurence E. Hirsch ’71 Classroom (Room 101) at Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law. The program is approved by the Pennsylvania Continuing Legal Education board for 3.5 substantive credits.

click to register

Schedule of Events

8 - 8:30 a.m.: Registration and Continental Breakfast

8:30 - 9 a.m.: Featured Speaker

Patricia Griffin, PhD, Senior Consultant, SAMHSA'S GAINS Center for Behavioral Health and Justice Transformation

9 - 10:10 a.m.: Critical Intercepts: The View from the Ground

Thomas J. Nestell III, Chief of Transit Police, SEPTA
Christina M. Finello, JD, PhD, Deputy Director of Housing and Human Services, Bucks County, Pennsylvania
The Honorable Gary S. Silow, Judge, Court of Common Pleas, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania

Moderated by Shea M. Rhodes, Director, Institute to Address Commercial Sexual Exploitation (CSE Institute) at Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law 

10:10 - 10:20 a.m.: Break


10:20 - 11:30 a.m.: Marrying Treatment and Housing: Challenges and Creative Ideas

Caterina G. Roman
, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Criminal Justice, Temple University
Mark Larson, Vice President, Policy, Center for Health Care Strategies, Inc., Hamilton, New Jersey
Mark Schwartz, JD, Executive Director, Regional Housing Legal Services, Glenside, Pennsylvania

Moderated by Dveera Segal, Professor of Law and Director of the Civil Justice Clinic, Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law

11:30 a.m. - 12:40 p.m.: The Role of Government: What can be done?

Teresa Miller, JD, Secretary, Pennsylvania Department of Human Services
Kevin S. Barnhardt, Commissioner, Berks County, Pennsylvania
H. Jean Wright II, PsyD, Director, Behavior Health and Justice Related Services Division, Philadelphia Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services

Moderated by Steven L. Chanenson, Professor of Law, Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law

Forum Coordinator: Michael Campbell, Professor of Law, Director of Clinical Programs, Director of Interdisiciplinary Mental and Physical Health Law Clinic, Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law