P2PH's 2018 Conference

P2PH's 2018 Conference


The Keys to Closing Rikers:

Building a Comprehensive Behavioral Health System in NYC

May 2nd, 2018

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With growing political and public support for closing Rikers Island’s jail facilities, the attention of criminal justice reformers is now acutely focused on the mechanics of lowering the average daily population to a level that is manageable in separate, smaller borough-based facilities.  At the same time, healthcare reform at the state and local level is driving ahead with “residential redesign,” and its focus on reducing treatment beds and converting treatment to outpatient modes more quickly.  In this context, it is incumbent upon the public health sector and allies in behavioral health service delivery to take a leading role in the conversation on closing Rikers.

Morning Plenary Session:

The plenary session will frame the conversation of the day by introducing key workforce development challenges facing law enforcement agencies and mental health providers, along with efforts to provide cross-disciplinary trainings and launch new interventions designed to improve interactions with individuals living with mental illness. 

  • Susan Herman, Deputy Commissioner of Collaborative Policing, NYPD
  • Helena Hansen, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, NYU School of Medicine


Panel One: Front-end Diversion Innovations

The first panel of the day will highlight new investments at the local level to expand mobile crisis response capacity and criminal justice diversion programs that reduce the likelihood of arrest and/or detention for individuals with mental illness and/or substance use disorders. 

  • Ashley Blauvelt, Director, Project Management, Staten Island PPS
  • Kristina Monti, Director of Special Projects, Mt. Sinai Psychiatric Emergency Room
  • Dira Treadvance, Criminal Justice Supervisor, Bureau of Mental Health, DOHMH
  • Karen E. Varriale, Senior ADA, Drug Treatment Unit, Kings County DA’s Office


Panel Two: The Journey from Residential to Outpatient Treatment

The second panel will focus on behavioral health programs that serve clients mandated to engage in treatment, often as part of participation in alternative to incarceration structures like Drug Courts and Mental Health Courts. Panelists will introduce recent reform efforts in residential treatment and the challenges faced by clients as they transition to outpatient services. 

  • George Lyon, Certified Recovery Peer Advocate, Queens Community College
  • Marcus Daugherty, Assistant Program Director of Healthcare Reform Consultation, The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA)
  • Daniel Meltzer, Oversight Director for Treatment Services, Argus Community Inc.
  • Philip Yanos, Professor of Forensic Psychology, John Jay College of Criminal Justice


Panel Three: Meeting Demand in Supportive and Affordable Housing Markets

The final panel of the day will provide a broad overview of the various housing options for individuals with complex behavioral health needs and recent or ongoing criminal justice involvement.  Panelists will highlight new programs designed to serve high utilizers and identify key policy barriers to meeting the housing needs of justice-involved clients. 

  • Ayesha Delaney-Brumsey, Director of Behavioral Health Research and Programming, Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice
  • Latisha Millard, Senior Director of Housing, The Fortune Society
  • Carol Sainthilaire, Senior Program Manager, Corporation for Supportive Housing
  • Susan Wiviott, Chief Executive Officer, The Bridge