UT Opportunity Forum Presents: Mental Health and Criminal Justice Involvement: A Conversation on Best Practices and Local Policy Reforms


“Criminalizing mental illness is expensive [and] it is ineffective”
Sally Hernandez, Travis County Sheriff

People with mental illness are greatly overrepresented among the millions of individuals cycling through our criminal justice system. Travis County is no exception, with the number of jail inmates with mental illness trending steeply upward over the past ten years. Steps have been taken to address the issue through the Health Justice Learning Collaborative and other efforts, but more is needed.

Join our discussion with key stakeholders, including County Judge Sarah Eckhardt, Mindy Montford (Travis County District Attorney’s Office), Sherry Blyth (Austin Travis County Integral Care), Assistant Chief Joe Chacon (Austin Police Department), and Danny Smith (Travis County Sheriff’s Office), to learn what’s happening in our community to strengthen cross-system collaboration, create more robust integrated systems of care in Travis County, and reduce criminal justice involvement for individuals with mental illnesses.

Registration is free to get a seat for this forum go here


The Institute for Urban Policy Research & Analysis
The William Wayne Justice Center for Public Interest Law

The Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs
The Longhorn Center for Community Engagement
The Graduate Program in Community & Regional Planning
Austin/Travis County Reentry Roundtable




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The Austin/Travis County Reentry Roundtable is collaborative promoting safe and healthy communities through effective reentry and reintegration of formerly incarcerated persons and individuals with criminal histories in Austin/Travis County, Texas.

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