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Justice Institute

Our Sincere Thanks to our Justice Institute Roundtable Members

Holland & Knight LLP

Stearns, Weaver, Miller, Weissler, Alhadeff & Sitterson, P.A.


Advisory Council and Workgroup

Florida Partners in Crisis’ Justice Institute Advisory Council and Workgroup were responsible for the development of A Judge’s Essential Guide to Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders, a bench book reference for judges and other court professionals.  Members included an expert panel of judges, psychiatrists, attorneys, consumers, advocates and family members.

The bench book provides the latest clinical information on the characteristics of mental disorders and intellectual disabilities including mental illnesses, substance use disorders, co-occurring disorders, types of intellectual disabilities and autism.  The book also provides citations for relevant Florida laws, statutes, rules and policies.

The Essential Guide was provided free of charge to more than 150 court professionals including state attorneys, public defenders, problem-solving court judges and members of the Florida Supreme Court Task Force on Substance Abuse and Mental Health Issues in the Courts.  The Essential Guide was also approved for electronic posting on the Florida court’s intranet site making it available to more than 900 circuit and county judges.

Project Advisory Council Members

Daniel Castellanos, M.D., Florida International University
Judge Steven Leifman, 11th Judicial Circuit
Michael Mathes, J.D., NAMI Florida
Risdon Slate, Ph.D., Florida Southern College
Peter Sleasman, J.D., FL Institutional Legal Services
Rajiv Tandon, M.D., University of Florida
Judge Robert Williams, 10th Judicial Circuit
Angela Vickers, J.D., Consumer Advocate

Workgroup Members

Advisory Council members relied on a group of stakeholders to provide extensive multi-disciplinary expertise for the project including:

Margo Adams, Florida Psychiatric Society
Tim Coffey, 11th Judicial Circuit Criminal Mental Health Project
Gail Cordial, Florida Partners in Crisis
Katy DeBriere, Florida Institutional Legal Services
Judi Evans, NAMI Florida
Maryellen McDonald, Disability Rights Florida
John Petrila, J.D., Florida Mental Health Institute, University of South Florida