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The Current State of Institutionalization: Addressing the Mental Health Crisis Behind Bars

Featuring opening remarks by New York City First Lady Chirlane McCray

In partnership with WNYC’s current series “Breaking Point: New York’s Mental Health Crisis,” the Vera Institute of Justice hosted a panel discussion to discuss the systemic issues driving the over-representation of people with serious mental illness in courts, jails, and prisons in New York and across the nation; its impact on public health and safety; and the types of reforms to the mental health and justice systems that are needed to address this crisis.

WNYC reporter Cindy Rodriguez moderated a panel featuring Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel and Dr. Dominic Sisti, authors of the recent commentary “Bring Back the Asylum” in the Journal of the American Medical Association, Francis Greenburger, founder and president of the Greenburger Center for Social and Criminal Justice, Robert Bernstein, director of the Bazelon Center, and David Cloud, leader of Vera’s Justice Reform for Healthy Communities initiative.

Watch the full video of this event, including opening remarks by Chirlane McCray:


This event was originally held on:
Thursday, February 26

Check-in and refreshments served from: 11:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. 
Program: 12:00 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.

NYU School for Professional Studies
Woolworth Building, 15 Barclay St, Rm 430
New York, NY 10279



Justice Reform for Healthy Communities is a year-long initiative of the Vera Institute of Justice that aims to improve the health and well-being of individuals and communities most affected by mass incarceration. Guided by a national advisory board comprised of public health and criminal justice policymakers, practitioners, researchers, and advocates, the initiative advances its mission through public education, coalition building, briefings, and publications.

For more information, please contact Chelsea Davis:





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