Equitas Convenes Stakeholders
In late March, Equitas held its most recent Course Corrections Summit in Washington, D.C. The Mid-Atlantic Summit on Behavioral Health & Criminal Justice featured keynote speaker, Sheriff Thomas Dart, who runs the Cook County Jail in Chicago, Illinois. While this jail’s reputation is of being the largest mental health institution in the country, Sheriff Dart strives to conduct his facility and staff in a different manner. “The common thread is caring,” stated Sheriff Dart. He views our nation’s management of persons struggling with mental health as illogical and expensive, producing poor outcomes for this vulnerable population. Sheriff Dart has shown tremendous perseverance in his efforts to alter the way in which our criminal justice system treats those with a mental illness.
Along with Sheriff Dart, Sheriff Stacey Kincaid from Fairfax County, Virginia, and Marc Mauer from The Sentencing Project, among many others, provided attendees with their unique strategies on managing this national crisis. Attendees included representatives from local and national organizations who share a passion to develop more efficient responses to the needs of community members with behavioral health and other vulnerabilities. To initiate this change, the group convened for two days, March 22- 23, to identify top priorities, strategies, potential partnerships, and timelines to bring these ideas into action.
As Vincent Atchity, Executive Director of Equitas, stated “Little tweaks can cue ripple effects.” One tangible outcome of the event that has already come to fruition is the Course Correction: Mid-Atlantic Summit Compendium of resources, which is now available on the Equitas website. You can also visit this site to learn more about the summit and upcoming Course Correction convenings.