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Court Leader's Advantage

71 EpisodesProduced by Peter C. KieferWebsite

Coming innovations, thought-provoking trends, questions that matter to the court community, these and more themes are covered by the Court Leader’s Advantage podcast series, a forum by court professionals for court professionals to share experiences and lessons learned.


Mental Health and the Courts: The Collaborative Court and Community Effective Criminal Case Management

March 15th Court Leader’s Advantage Podcast Episode

In our last two episodes on mental health and the courts we talked about the fact that traditional criminal case management is not meeting the needs of the people we serve. We must develop a new comprehensive and collaborative model. We need to create a fair and effective caseflow management system that meets the challenges of those with behavioral health needs.

There are estimates that up to 70% of the individuals seen in our criminal courts today have behavioral health issues. Currently, state courts do not generally have systems in place to help those with these challenges. This need is made even more urgent with the pandemic and the resulting case backlogs. We must find a new model to strengthen the collaborative court and community response to individuals with behavioral health needs.

This month is the third of our five-episode discussion with members of the National Judicial Task Force to Examine State Courts’ Response to Mental Illness. Some of the topics we will explore include:

· What is this new collaborative model for addressing caseflow management?

· What are the four pillars that make up the new caseflow management model?

· How can court administrators integrate this new model into a court’s existing practices and

· What resources are available for us to use now?

Our panel today includes:

The Honorable Paula Carey is recently retired Chief Justice of the Massachusetts Trial Courts She was appointed Chief Justice of the Trial Court in July 2013 by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court. Prior to that time, she had served as the Chief Justice of the Probate and Family Court beginning in October 2007. She was appointed an Associate Justice of the Norfolk Probate and Family Court in 2001.

Chief Justice Carey partnered with the Court Administrator in the oversight of the Massachusetts Trial Court, which is comprised of seven court departments with 385 judges, 6,400 court staff, including Probation and Security, and 99 court facilities. They jointly direct the implementation of Strategic Plan 3.0, which targets priorities such as user experience, judicial excellence, operational excellence and diversity, equity and inclusion.  She served on the Council of State Governments Working Group and on Governor Baker’s Opioid Task Force and has worked on National Initiatives in the areas of Substance Use disorders and Behavioral Health.

Prior to her appointment to the bench in January 2001, Chief Justice Carey was a partner in the firm of Carey & Mooney, PC, where she specialized in domestic relations matters.  She has lectured and authored material for numerous publications and educational programs in the area of domestic relations, diversity equity and inclusion as well as substance use disorder and behavioral health both as a practitioner and as a judge.  She is a graduate of New England Law/Boston.

Donald E. Jacobson is a Senior Special Projects Consultant with the Arizona Supreme Court.  He began his court career working as a bailiff, law librarian and assistant administrator in the Superior Court in Coconino County. Having served as a court administrator, consultant and trainer in both general jurisdiction and limited jurisdiction courts throughout Arizona over the past 28 years he is sought out as a Subject Matter Expert in court financial management, change management, performance measures, improving court performance and system structure.

Don received a B.S. in Engineering, with an emphasis in Electrical Engineering, from Northern Arizona University (NAU) in 1979, and received his M.A., with Honors, from Denver Seminary in 1984. He is a 1999 Fellow of the Institute for Court Management. 

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