Course Corrections: Colorado Summit on Behavioral Health & Criminal Justice 2016

August 31st and September 1st, 2016


On August 31 and September 1 of 2016, over two hundred experts and leaders in behavioral health and criminal justice from all over the State gathered at the History Colorado Center for Course Corrections: Colorado Summit on Behavioral Health and Criminal Justice. The purpose of this historical gathering was 1) to acknowledge the urgency of our need for an alternative to incarceration and criminal justice system involvement for people living with mental and behavioral health issues or in crisis, 2) to build consensus regarding what course corrections are most urgently required, and 3) to provide recommendations for overcoming barriers to reducing incarceration, improving mental and behavioral health outcomes, and maintaining public safety.

Read Course Corrections conclusions and recommendations here.

Review the 8/31 agenda.

Review the Compendium.

Presentation Slides on August 31st:

Daniel Kim, Ph.D., Director of Youth Organizing, Padres y Jovenes Unidos

Hassan Latif, Executive Director, Second Chance Center, Inc.

Frank Cornelia, Director of Government and Community Relations & Moses Gur, Policy Associate, Colorado Behavioral Healthcare Council

Toria Thompson, Behavioral Health Information Exchange Coordinator, CORHIO

Peggy Heil, Behavioral Health Specialist, Division of Criminal Justice, Colorado Department of Public Safety

Annie Bacci, Senior Program Manager, Corporation for Supportive Housing

Jennifer Lopez, Director of Homeless Initiatives, Governor’s Office of Community Partnerships

Matthew Meyer, Ph.D., Chief Strategy Officer, Mental Health Partners (EDGE)

Nancy Jackson, Arapahoe County Commissioner

Judge Bonnie MacLean & Amanda Meyer, Project Director/Problem Solving Court Coordinator, 18th Judicial District

Rick Raemisch, Executive Director, Colorado Department of Corrections

Richard Morales, Deputy Director, Latino Coalition for Community Leadership


Keynote Speaker: Judge Steven Leifman

On August 31st, Judge Leifman shared this shocking video as part of his keynote address on the state of Florida’s treatment of mentally ill inmates and the ways in which his county led the cause for change.

Review Judge Leifman’s presentation here.


What a Difference a Decade Makes

Due to his relentless efforts and inspiring advocacy, Judge Leifman was able to create change in the Miami-Dade Jail. See the CBS Miami story on how the “Forgotten Floor” was closed and replaced with a safer, cleaner, more humane treatment facility for acutely mentally ill inmates.

About Judge Leifman

sl-photo-dec-2010Judge Steven Leifman is the Associate Administrative Judge of the Miami-Dade County Court’s Criminal Division. He also chairs the Florida Supreme Court’s Task Force on Substance Abuse and Mental Health Issues in the Court and the Mental Health Committee for the Eleventh Judicial Circuit of Florida, where he created the Eleventh Judicial Circuit Criminal Mental Health Project. This highly successful program diverts non-violent defendants with mental illnesses away from the criminal justice system. Leifman has received numerous awards, including the 2015 William H. Rehnquist Award for Judicial Excellence, one of the nation’s highest judicial honors. Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. presented the award to Leifman during a ceremony at the U.S. Supreme Court in November 2015. He has also authored and published numerous articles and book chapters on mental illnesses and the criminal justice system. He received his JD from Florida State University College of Law and his BS from American University.

Information on Judge Leifman’s reform program information can be found here.

Part of the Course Corrections program included sharing a compilation of resources and information on programs in action across the state. View the resource compendium here.

Equitas Foundation is indebted to our hard-working steering committee for assistance in planning the event:


Vincent Atchity, Ph.D.
Executive Director
Equitas Foundation

Paul Bretz, Ph.D.
Director of Model Development
National Behavioral Health Innovation Center

Doyle Forrestal
Chief Executive Officer
Colorado Behavioral Healthcare Council

Patrick Fox, M.D.
Chief Medical Officer
Colorado Department of Human Services

Kim Gorgens, Ph.D.
Clinical Associate Professor and Executive Director
Center for Professional Development
University of Denver

Neil Gowensmith, Ph.D.
Director, Denver FIRST
University of Denver

Regina Huerter
Executive Director
Denver Division of Behavioral Health Strategies

Jenn Lopez
Director of Homeless Initiatives
Office of Governor Hickenlooper

Richard Morales
Deputy Executive
Latino Coalition for Community Leadership

Lavita Nadkarni, Ph.D
Professor and Associate Dean
University of Denver-Graduate School of Professional Psychology

Shadrey Sands
Project Coordinator
Office of Governor John W. Hickenlooper

Matt Vogl
Executive Director
National Behavioral Health Innovation Center

Gwendolyn West
Project Coordinator
Equitas Foundation

We could not have made the event happen without our generous sponsors:





What’s next for Course Corrections? See where Equitas will next convene a Summit.


Aug 31 2016 - Sep 01 2016

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