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2021 JCMH Summit

This year's Summit was a resounding success with over 1,300 total attendees! Thanks very much to all who joined us in person or online and to the many contributors who made it possible. We hope to see you all in 2022! 

To request continuing education credit for the 2021 Judicial Summit on Mental Health, please complete the Session Recordings Continuing Education Credits Form after viewing the session recordings. You will be emailed a certificate of attendance for the requested sessions. 

Welcome & Introductions by:

Hon. Jane Bland, Justice, The Supreme Court of Texas and Chair, Judicial Commission on Mental Health

Hon. Barbara Hervey, Judge, The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals and Chair, Judicial Commission on Mental Health

Hon. Rebeca Huddle, Justice, The Supreme Court of Texas and Deputy Liaison, Judicial Commission on Mental Health

Kristi Taylor, Executive Director, Judicial Commission on Mental Health

While mental health has made its way into the forefront of conversation and community work, there remain elements of mental health work that are untapped and not fully understood. In this session, Dr. Octavio N. Martinez, Jr. will discuss where he envisions mental health is going in the future—without stigma, and with equal access to services for those in need.

Presented by:

Dr. Octavio N. Martinez, Jr., Executive Director, Hogg Foundation for Mental Health

Professor Shannon will discuss the 87th legislative session, what bills were passed related to MH and IDD law, the legislative intent behind some of those bills, and how they impact your work

Presented by:

Brian D. Shannon, Horn Distinguished Professor, Texas Tech University School of Law

This session will start with the fundamentals of IDD and what services are provided in Texas. Then there will be a discussion on a statewide systems analysis performed to gather experiences from service providers, service users, judges, and other professionals who encounter adults with IDD. Lastly, this session will take a deep dive into how one LMHA developed a program specifically tailored to support individuals with Autism in their community.

Presented by:

Haley Turner, Associate Commissioner for Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Services, Texas HHSC

Alex Cogan, Manager of Public Policy & Advocacy, The Arc of Texas

Kelly Land, START Program Director, My Health My Resources of Tarrant County

Whitney Sherman, Director of Autism, Behavior and IDD Crisis Programs, The Andrews Center

Stakeholder collaboration is essential for meaningful engagement with justice involved youth experiencing mental health challenges or IDD. Panelists from various youth mental health services will share their experiences with the juvenile justice system. While providing information on local resources available, they will also discuss best practices for engaging stakeholders and emphasizing the importance of including a youth perspective to center efforts around meaningful engagement with individuals and families resulting in better outcomes for the youth.

Presented by: 

Kisha Ledlow, Texas System of Care Project Director, Texas HHSC

Veronica Martinez, Director of Children and Adult MH Services, Texas HHSC

Liz Pearson, Children’s Mental Health Manager, IDD and Behavioral Health Services, Texas HHSC

Rachel Samsel, Deputy Associate Commissioner, Strategic Initiatives & Policy, State Hospital System, Texas HHSC

Casey Koenig, Program Specialist, Children’s Mental Health, Texas HHSC

Dr. Ellis will discuss how communities can align policy, program, and practice to address adverse childhood experiences in the contexts of adverse community environments—or as Dr. Ellis has coined it the “Pair of ACEs.” Dr. Ellis will share concrete examples of how multiple sectors including housing, public education, law enforcement and criminal justice are collaborating to address many of the antecedents that contribute to maladaptive behaviors, criminality, and negative health outcomes. Attendees will learn how to identify key community assets and resources, promote upstream efforts to address social determinants and build community resilience.

Presented by:

Dr. Wendy Ellis, Assistant Professor & Director, Center for Community Resilience, The George Washington University

There is an opportunity at every intercept! Judge Kazen will discuss civil mental health law and his diversion roadmap to the creative ways individuals are diverted into his AOT program rather than psychiatric hospitals or incarceration. Then hear from the Bexar County AOT program leaders as they outline ways to engage treatment-resistant consumers in services through an intensive specialized AOT program.

Presented by:

Hon. Oscar Kazen, Presiding Judge, Bexar County Probate Court #1

Dr. Shawna Corley, Justice Program Clinic Administrator, The Center for Healthcare Services

“Austin 911, are you calling for police, fire, EMS, or mental health services?” A new fourth option has been added to the typical 911 script in Austin. Join Integral Care and the Austin Police Department as they share the impact of this addition of an alternative response that can remove the need for police officers to serve as the first line of response for mental health crises.

Presented by:

Marisa Aguilar, Practice Manager, Integral Care

Colleen McCollough, Program Manager, Integral Care

Lt. Kenneth Murphy, Austin Police Department

Texoma Community Center, its local law enforcement, and elected officials have developed a training geared toward officers and judges who deal with emergency detentions on a daily basis. See how this collaborative effort reduced jail bookings and hospital admissions by breaking down silos across the justice system.

Presented by: 

Dr. Diana Cantu, Chief Executive Officer, Texoma Community Center

Chief Zachary Flores, Chief of Police, Sherman Police Department

Loren Hervey, Senior Director of Children’s and Crisis Services, Texoma Community Center

Risk assessments create predictability and structure while limiting biases in justice-related decisions. This session will provide an overview on the different types of risk assessments, when to use them, and how to extract the most benefit from them in the justice system.

Presented by:

Carey A. Green, Director, Texas Department of Criminal Justice, Community Justice Assistance Division

Our veterans make tremendous sacrifices to serve our country. This session will explore how stakeholders in various stages of the sequential intercept model can better serve our service members, veterans, and their families by preventing veterans from becoming justice-involved and properly supporting those who do.

Presented by: 

Sean Hanna, Navy, Veteran; Senior Director of Veteran Initiatives, Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute

Tim Keesling, Army Veteran; Director, Office of Veteran Services Coordination, Texas Health and Human Services Commission

David Pelletier, USMC Veteran; Project Director, Justice for Vets

Tracie Dick, Army Veteran; Veterans Justice Outreach Specialist, Central Texas VA Healthcare System

Judges, attorneys, mental health program staff, supervision officers, and mental health resource providers all play an important role in the criminal justice system. It is important that all stakeholders who interact with individuals with mental health needs or IDD observe important ethical considerations when working with this population.  This presentation will explore these considerations, examine the current law, and propose changes and best practices.

Presented by: 

Hon. Brent A. Carr, Presiding Judge, Tarrant County Criminal Court No. 9

Judge Roxanne Nelson will guide the discussion of three criminal case hypotheticals—based off real incidents—that each have a distinct mental health concern. This unique panel, made up of a prosecutor, defense attorney, and LMHA director, will explain how they use creative, innovative, and inexpensive methods to bring about positive resolutions for individuals with mental illnesses and intellectual and developmental disabilities in their rural county.


Hon. Roxanne Nelson, Justice of the Peace, Burnet County, Pct. 1


Colleen Davis, Assistant County Attorney, Burnet County Attorney’s Office

Jonathan Lemuel, Director of Jail Diversion, Bluebonnet Trails Community Services

Michelle Moore, Chief Public Defender, Burnet County Public Defender’s Office

As an attorney, it is critical to have good communication with your client. This can require additional skill when working with clients who have an array of challenges and needs. In this session, Public Defender Damon Parrish II will highlight his experiences as an attorney working with individuals with mental health needs or IDD and the techniques he has found to best understand and serve his clients.

Presented by:

Damon Parrish II, Assistant Public Defender, Harris County Public Defender’s Office

The Reaching Independence through Self-Empowerment (RISE) in Tarrant County, Texas, is a post-adjudication specialty court program that is designed to identify women with a history of significant sexual trauma that has contributed to their involvement in the criminal justice system. This session will highlight the evidence-based practices used to divert participants from criminal activity into a safe and healthy lifestyle where they can achieve independent living with the means to support themselves indefinitely.

Presented by:

Hon. Sheila Wynn, Magistrate Judge, Tarrant County

Tre’Naisha McGuire, RISE Program Manager, Tarrant County Community Supervision and Corrections Department

It is critical that judges and program administrators get the most out of a program evaluation and understand the impact of their judicial mental health program. This presentation focuses on program evaluations and will examine some of the overlooked topics related to evaluation research, including: the recognizing the importance of measurable goals and objectives, identifying outcomes other than recidivism, considering issues affecting research design, avoiding conflicts of interest, and justifying program expenses with a cost-benefit analysis.

Presented by: 

Dr. Clete Snell, Professor, University of Houston Downtown, Department of Criminal Justice & Social Work

Chris Orton, a retired detective, has experienced PTSD, anxiety, depression, and alcohol use after 25+ years of secondary trauma from his work. He has leveraged his experience to provide peer support to first responders, judges, court staff, school employees, and CPS caseworkers. Please join Chris while he shares what he has learned in supporting those who are in service to their communities.

Presented by:

Chris Orton, Peer Support Specialist and Navigator on Criminal Incident Response Team, Bluebonnet Trails Community Services

This engaging and provocative session led by the National Center for State Courts will provide a national view of how states are working to improve bed-wait lists of defendants who have been court-ordered for competency to stand trial evaluation or restoration services. They will explore recommendations on how to prevent this national crisis of pre-trial defendants, sometimes charged only with misdemeanor offenses, spending far longer in jail than they ever would have had they pled to or been convicted of the underlying offense.

Presented by:

Hon. Nan G. Waller, Multnomah County Circuit Court Judge, Portland, OR & member of the Criminal Justice Workgroup of the National Judicial Task Force to Examine State Courts’ Response to Mental Illness

Rick Schwermer, Consultant and Faculty, National Center for State Courts & National Association of Drug Court Professionals

Like other states across the country, Texas is experiencing a growing crisis in effectively serving the number of individuals waiting for inpatient competency restoration services in county jails. The fiscal costs and human toll of this problem are immense. It is time to right-size competency restoration services for Texans by taking a holistic approach to addressing the challenge. This session will bring together a diverse group of panelists to discuss a comprehensive action plan where each stakeholder can do a small part to decrease the inpatient competency restoration waitlist, and together we can successfully Eliminate the Wait in Texas.


Kristi Taylor, Executive Director, JCMH

Dr. Jennie Simpson, State Forensic Director, Texas HHSC

Panelists in Alphabetical Order:

Alyse Ferguson, Chief Attorney, Collin County Mental Health Managed Counsel Program

Hon. Dave Jahn, Former Judge, Denton County Criminal Court No. 1

Adrienne Kennedy, Executive Committee, Past President, National Alliance on Mental Illness

Lee Pierson, Assistant District Attorney, Dallas County District Attorney’s Office

Sheriff Kelly Rowe, Sheriff, Lubbock County, Texas

Shelley Smith, CEO, West Texas Centers

Chief Stan Standridge, Chief of Police, San Marcos Police Department

Dr. Felix Torres, Chief of Forensic Medicine, Texas HHSC

Those returning to the community from jail or prison require a culturally informed approach. The focus of this session will be how Integral Care population health data is used to inform data-driven changes to service delivery and will specifically discuss what changes were implemented regarding trauma-informed and culturally responsive interventions.

Presented by:

Alex Villarreal, Program Manager for the ANEW Clinic and Mental Health Bond Program, Integral Care

Brittany Whittington, Population Health Administrator, Integral Care

Laura Wilson-Slocum, Practice Administrator for Crisis Services and Justice Initiatives, Integral Care

When an individual is found not guilty by reason of insanity, the next chapter of their life requires substantial and effective support. Dr. Faubion continues to do NGRI release assessment evaluations and will discuss the transition of NGRI acquittees from an inpatient psychiatric hospital into a community-based setting. This session will highlight the current general needs of the NGRI acquittee community with respect to mental health follow ups, housing, substance abuse treatment, and court liaison upon discharge from the hospital.

Presented by:

Dr. Matt Faubion, Medical Director, West Texas Centers

TCOOMMI is responsible for continuity of care services for juvenile offenders and offenders with mental health needs or IDD who are on probation or parole by linking them with community-based interventions and supports. April Zamora will provide an overview of TCOOMMI services such as pre-release screenings and referral to aftercare treatment services for special needs offenders releasing from correctional settings, local jails, or other referral sources.

Presented by:

April Zamora, Division Director, TDCJ Reentry and Integration Division, TCOOMMI