Equitas National Advisor Rick Raemisch Reduced Solitary Confinement in Colorado by 98%. He’s Just Been Named Public Official of the Year.

Governing Magazine this year recognized Equitas National Advisor and Colorado Department of Corrections Director for ending the overuse of solitary confinement in the state. Some say it’s like being buried alive. The walls close in on you. And though you’re often alone for years, sometimes decades at a time, if you face a mental illness with accompanying hallucinations, you’re left …

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 …

Judge Steven Leifman Receives Pardes Humanitarian Prize for Helping Thousands Towards Mental Health Instead of Incarceration

“Judge Leifman has accomplished something amazing. Thanks to Judge Leifman’s efforts people don’t go to jail but instead receive treatment so they can move forward with their lives in a healthier way.” –Dr. Jeffrey Borenstein, President and CEO, Brain and Behavior Research Foundation   In October, 2018, the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation, the nation’s largest non-governmental funder of cutting-edge …

Coordination and Communication are Key to Improving Mental Health and Criminal Justice in America

Mental health and criminal justice are a tangled mess in communities all across the country. Rather than supporting health from childhood through old age, our social systems show hardly any signs of understanding mental health at all. We don’t systematically recognize or have the capacity to respond to early indications for concern, and instead rely upon law enforcement to intervene …

National Public Defenders Summit Directives Document Now Available

Public defenders from around the country convened in Denver this spring for the first of its kind event to build consensus for policy and practice reforms.  Top defenders from 21 states and the District of Columbia met for two days to debate reforms to safely reduce incarceration, while improving the lives and wellbeing of individuals living with mental health challenges. Public …

Meet Equitas Project Summer 2018 Undergraduate Intern Zena Jahmi

Did you know? The Equitas Project offers internships year-round. These internships offer in-depth experience in the mental health and criminal justice advocacy arena. This summer at Equitas, we have two undergraduate interns and one master’s practicum student working with us.  Learn more about undergraduate intern Zena Jamhi below.  Zena Jahmi, Undergraduate Student, University of Colorado, Boulder Concentrations: International Affairs; Minors in …

Meet the Equitas Project Summer 2018 Practicum Student Lindsay Houston

Did you know? The Equitas Project offers internships year-round. These internships offer in-depth experience in the mental health and criminal justice advocacy arena. This summer at Equitas, we have two undergraduate interns and one master’s practicum student working with us. Learn more about MPH candidate Lindsay Houston below! Lindsay Houston, Master of Public Health candidate University of Colorado at Anschutz …

Meet Equitas Project Summer 2018 Undergraduate Intern Sarah Wiener

Did you know? The Equitas Project offers internships year-round. These internships offer in-depth experience in the mental health and criminal justice advocacy arena. This summer at Equitas, we have two undergraduate interns and one master’s practicum student working with us. Learn more about undergraduate intern Sarah Wiener below. Sarah Wiener, Undergraduate Student, Tufts University Concentrations: Philosophy, Political Science; Minor in …

Mental Health Awareness Month 2018

Where does culture end and the brain begin? The truth is, our culture simultaneously creates and is created by our brains. As the brain receives information from the environment, it creates linkages, pattern recognition, and meaning. We learn and we create culture in order to survive, and our brains perpetuate and evolve those cultures, to sustain us and to nurture …

Spring in Review: Disentangling Mental Health & Criminal Justice with the State of Indiana and with National Public Defenders

This spring, Equitas has been active with projects in several states, completing work in Indianapolis and Denver to convene stakeholders at the intersection of mental health and criminal justice. For the second year, Equitas partnered with NAMI Indiana for their 15th Annual Mental Health & Criminal Justice Summit: Course Corrections, and for the first time ever, Equitas convened public defenders …