Since the drafting of the United States Constitution, the judicial branch has been tasked with ensuring equal justice under the law. However, justice for people facing mental health challenges and living with addiction is difficult to find in America today. Without access to quality mental health care, and in the face of discrimination against those with mental health and substance use disorders, justice is inevitably biased and cannot be served. American communities must continually strive to realize the ideal of justice for all, while preserving the rights of individuals, and also recognizing social inequities that exist among us because of mental and physical health or ability, race, upbringing, gender, and other privileges or disadvantages.
- Reduce jail populations through bail reform and post-arrest diversion to health care (incl. outpatient competency restoration, detox, Assisted Outpatient Treatment, etc.)
- Improve civil commitment laws to decriminalize mental health, increase safety, and expand access to care
- End mandatory minimum sentencing
Cook County Illinois’s public defender and Equitas National Advisor Amy Campanelli describes her work providing “a voice for the voiceless.” Adapted from Progressive.org Public defenders serve as a voice for people in these commun...
From Equitas National Advisor Cheryl Roberts with The Greenburger Center. From start to finish, the criminal justice system is no place to make treatment and housing decisions about the vast majority of people with serious mental illness...
By Equitas National Advisor Marc Levin. Excerpted from Real Clear Policy. Former Chief Justice William Rehnquist stated: “In our society, liberty is the norm, and detention prior to trial or without trial is the carefully limited excep...