Court Leader’s Advantage Podcast Episode: August 16, 2022

Brought to You in Cooperation with the National Association for Court Management

In this episode, we ask the question, “What should our courts be doing now?”  This month we bring our discussion on behavioral health and the courts home. In previous episodes we talked about the extent of the problem nationally and how it affects each community; we discussed the need for community collaboration; we explored the challenge of criminal competency to stand trial, and we learned how mental health manifests itself as trauma in our young people.  This month is the last of our five-episode discussion with members of the National Judicial Task Force to Examine State Courts’ Response to Mental Illness.

This Episode’s Topics

  • What should judges and court administrators be doing right now to address this crisis?
  • How do we educate the public about the realities of mental health?
  • What kind of role will court staff play in this new model for courts?
  • What advice do these panelists have for the rest of us?

Listen to the August 16, 2022, CLAPodcast Episode on your way to or from work. 32 Minutes 10 Seconds

Watch the August 16, 2022, CLAPodcast Episode 33 minutes 6 seconds

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Today’s Panel

The Honorable Christopher M. Goff was appointed as Indiana’s 110th justice in 2017 by Governor Eric J. Holcomb. Prior to his appointment, Justice Goff was judge of the Wabash Superior Court for twelve years during which time he established the Wabash County Drug Court, Wabash County Family Recovery Court, and the Wabash County Reentry Court. He has served as President of the Huntington County Police Merit Board and was named Huntington County’s Pro Bono Attorney of the Year in 2001 and 2002. He is currently the Chair of the Indiana Justice Reinvestment Advisory Council (JRAC) as well as serving as a member of the National Judicial Task Force to Examine State Courts’ Response to Mental Illness.

Institutions around the state have recognized Justice Goff’s efforts. In 2018, the Bowen Center presented him with its Centennial Award for working to establish a culture of mental health in Northeast Indiana. Ball State University recognized him as one of its Graduates of Distinction. In 2020, Indiana University presented him with its Bicentennial Medal in recognition of his distinguished service. Also in 2020, he received an award from the Indiana Sheriff’s Association for his leadership and dedication during the COVID-19 emergency.

Scott Block holds a master’s degree in counseling, is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor, a Certified Alcohol and Other Drug Counselor, a Certified Criminal Justice Addictions Professional, and a National Center for State Court’s Certified Court Manager. As the AOIC’s Statewide Behavioral Health Administrator, Scott serves as the Illinois Judicial Branch’s dedicated voice and resource, committed to furthering local, state, and national behavioral health and justice initiatives as they affect the courts. In this capacity, he acts as the project director for the Illinois Mental Health Task Force, provides behavioral health related administrative support to the Illinois Supreme Court, and acts as liaison to state and national behavioral health and justice affiliates and organizations.

He is also an adjunct professor at Aurora University in the School of Social Work, with a focus on substance use disorder and addictions.

Walter Thompson Sr. is a Peer Recovery Support Specialist and retired Non-Commissioned Officer in the U.S. Army after serving more than 20 years. He is an Ordained Deacon at his local church, an advocate for mental health and was recently elected Commissioner and Vice Mayor of Florida City, FL. He attended Central Texas College and Miami Dade College. He is a certified Peer Specialist and Group Instructor. He is also an Intention Peer Specialist (IPS), Wellness Recovery Action Plan Facilitator (WRAP), Interactive Journaling (IJ) Facilitator, and Small Group Instructor (SGI). He is committed to Mentoring underprivileged youth and being a leader in his community.

Patricia Tobias has been a Principal Court Management Consultant with the National Center for State Courts in Denver, Colorado since 2014, after serving 20+ years as the Idaho State Court Administrator and 13 years with the Missouri Courts at both the trial and state court level. She is a past president of the Conference of State Court Administrators and served as Vice-Chair, NCSC Board of Directors. She was honored with the Warren E. Burger Award for Excellence in Court Administration in 2012.

Do You Want to know More?

Leading Change Guide For State Court Leaders

National Center for State Courts Webpage on the National Judicial Task Force to Examine State Court Response to Behavioral Health

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