Task force broadens focus on mental illness
Ohio’s Advisory Committee on Mental Illness and the Courts has evolved into the Attorney General’s Task Force on Criminal Justice and Mental Illness, allowing the group to expand its focus to topics beyond the court system.
Attorney General Mike DeWine approached Ohio Supreme Court Justice Evelyn Stratton, who formed the committee in 2001, about taking the group’s work to the next level. The two now co-chair the task force, which held its first meeting in December. Its goal is to address the problem of people with mental illness becoming trapped in the criminal justice system and to increase public safety.
The group has had many successes, including helping to establish 37 mental health courts, promoting the training of 4,580 crisis intervention team law enforcement officers in 76 of 88 counties, making recommendations for changes to Medicaid, and advocating for a new juvenile competency statute.
In related news, the Attorney General’s Office has provided a $60,000 grant to the Ohio Chapter of the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill, which will design an evidence-based curriculum to train law enforcement throughout the state in responding to incidents involving people with mental illness.
Law enforcement leaders asked to update contact info
In order to improve communications, the Attorney General’s Office asks that law enforcement leaders and officers throughout Ohio share their e-mail addresses and update their contact information. The process involves just a quick visit to www.OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov/OPOTAUpdate.
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Don’t miss Two Days in May
The Ohio Attorney General’s Two Days in May Conference on Victim Assistance is set for May 10–11 at the Hyatt Regency Columbus.
The annual conference brings together more than 1,000 victim service providers. This year’s theme is “Mission Possible: Let No Victim Stand Alone.”
Registration will begin in March at www.OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov/TDIM.
121 surrender at Richland Fugitive Safe Surrender
The first Fugitive Safe Surrender overseen by the Ohio Attorney General’s Office took place in Richland County in the fall, prompting 121 people to turn themselves in. Officials cleared 182 warrants.
Launched in Cleveland in 2005 by U.S. Marshal Pete Elliott, the program has led about 35,000 fugitives to surrender nationwide since its inception. Attorney General Mike De-Wine, then a U.S. Senator, served as the lead sponsor of legislation that authorized funding for the program.
To arrange a Fugitive Safe Surrender in your area, e-mail Jeffrey.Oleksiak@OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov or call 216-787-3275. For more information on the program, view a video at www.OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov/videos.
Lights. Camera. BCI.
Check out a short video highlighting the work of the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation and learn how BCI can help your department.
You’ll get a close look at BCI’s work and hear some impressive stats, such as:
Visit Ohio Attorney General’s website at www.OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov/Videos to view the BCI video and presentations on other topics.
Key events in 2012