Symposium Will Tackle Issues of Criminal Justice and Mental Illness

Journal Event Features Virginia District Court Chief Judge Jacqueline F. Ward Talevi
Conference poster
March 22, 2017

Experts in criminal justice and mental health will gather for a symposium at the University of Virginia School of Law on March 29 in Caplin Pavilion to analyze how the police and courts deal with mental illness in Virginia.

“From police shootings to competency hearings to the death penalty, issues of mental health often connect to some of the most controversial aspects of the criminal justice system,” said second-year law student Liesel Schapira, director of the symposium.

Presented by the Virginia Journal of Criminal Law, the symposium will feature Chief Judge Jacqueline F. Ward Talevi of the General District Court for Virginia's 23rd Judicial District, who will give the keynote address at 11:45 a.m. in Caplin Pavilion.

Talevi, who has served on the 23rd Judicial District Court since 1996, developed a program that provides alternative sentencing options for defendants with serious mental illnesses who commit misdemeanors. She also chairs the Supreme Court of Virginia’s Committee on Mental Health Dockets and has taught as an adjunct professor at George Washington University’s Forensic Psychology Graduate Program, Virginia Western Community College and Radford University.

Two panels will explore the ways in which Virginia’s police force and courts have evolved to respond more effectively to situations involving people suffering from mental illness as well as suggestions for reforms and further improvements.

The Virginia Journal of Criminal Law is a student-run publication that focuses on criminal law issues.

Breakfast and lunch will be served during the symposium.

Criminal Justice and Mental Illness

Wednesday, March 29, Caplin Pavilion

10 a.m.
Opening Remarks

Richard Bonnie, Harrison Foundation Professor of Medicine and Law; Class of 1941 Research Professor; Professor of Psychiatry and Neurobehavioral Sciences; Director, Institute of Law, Psychiatry and Public Policy; Professor of Public Policy, Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy; University of Virginia

10:30 a.m.
Panel I: Policing and Mental Illness

  • Thomas Von Hemert, Crisis Intervention Training Coordinator, Thomas Jefferson Area
  • Sgt. Rayshaun Gause, Officer, University of Virginia Police Department
  • Moderator: Dr. Heather Zelle, Clinical Psychologist, University of Virginia Institute of Law, Psychiatry and Public Policy

11:45 a.m.
Lunch and Keynote Address

Jacqueline F. Ward Talevi, Chief Judge, General District Court for Virginia's 23rd Judicial District

1 p.m.
Panel II: Criminal Adjudication and Mental Illness

  • Dr. Michael Schaefer, Assistant Commissioner of Forensic Services, Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services
  • Dr. Daniel Murrie, Director of Psychology, University of Virginia Institute of Law, Psychiatry and Public Policy
  • Elizabeth Murtagh, Public Defender, Charlottesville-Albemarle Public Defender Office

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