Law Enforcement Leaders Agree: Communities Must Step Up to Address Mental Health Needs Preventatively

On November 13 and 14 in Los Angeles, the Equitas Project convened 90 leaders and decision-makers in law enforcement for the Course Corrections: National Law Enforcement Summit. Participants at the event included police chiefs, sheriffs, and district attorneys from across the country, as well as national advocacy organizations with a stake in law enforcement issues.

Summit participants spent a day and a half outlining key recommendations for their communities, organizations, and the nation. Their shared purpose: to send a clear message about the urgency of transforming mental and behavioral health care and crisis response. Over-reliance upon law enforcement, the criminal court system, and jails and prisons, to respond to mental health crises and preventable health-driven behaviors wastes taxpayer dollars and yields extremely poor health and public safety outcomes.

The event’s Keynote Speaker, Judge Steven Leifman, from Miami-Dade County, Florida, was this year’s recipient of the annual Pardes Humanitarian Prize for his work to redirect people experiencing mental health disorders away from the criminal justice system in his state.

A host of Los Angeles leaders were on hand to participate in the discussion and to greet the gathered participants, including Los Angeles District Attorney Jackie Lacey, L.A. City Attorney Mike Feuer, and Chief Michel Moore of the L.A. Police Department. For more on the impressive array of leaders present at the summit, visit the event page.

A document outlining priorities and recommendations from these national law enforcement leaders is forthcoming, and is expected to accelerate the nation’s progress toward better mental health, reduced criminalization, increased public safety, and more efficient use of resources. The document will be the latest in a series of Course Corrections directives produced and published by the Equitas Project. Visit our website to learn more or sign up for our newsletter.


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