Criminalization of Mental Illness

Hamline University - Anderson Center

Friday April 26th 2019 8:00 am –  4:30 pm

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The largest mental health treatment facility in Minnesota is the Hennepin County Jail. Crisis calls to police are on the rise across the state and mental illness is overwhelming the justice system. Join us for a full-day conference on Friday, April 26th to understand the complexity of the criminalization of mental illness and to generate solutions. Sessions by experts in the field will cover mental illness in policing, criminal court, jail and prison, and community corrections.

The event takes place at the Anderson Center at Hamline University, on the corner of Snelling and Englewood.

A catered lunch is included in the registration cost.

This event is current sold out. Please contact to join the waitlist. Thank you!


8:00-8:30: Registration and resource fair

8:30-9:00:  Overview of the problem by Dr. Jillian Peterson, Hamline University

9:00-10:15: Policing mental illness       

Chief Scott Boerboom, Minnetonka Police Chief

Jenna Erickson, Personal experience

Commissioner John Harrington, Commissioner of MN Dept of Public Safety   

Sergeant Jamie Sipes, St. Paul Police Department Mental Health Unit        

10:15-10:30: Break

10:30-11:45: Mental illness in the courts                    

Sue Abderholden, Executive Director of NAMI MN

Judge Nicole Starr, Ramsey County Mental Health Court

Evan Tsai, Public defender, Veteran Court

Dr. Tricia Aiken, Minnesota Department of Human Services

11:45-12:15: Break

12:15-1:15: Lunch and Keynote address by Alisa Roth, MPR News               

1:15-1:30:  Break

1:30-2:45: Mental illness in jails and prisons

Naomi Gaines-Young, Personal experience

Sheriff David Hutchinson, Hennepin County Sheriff

Paul Schnell, Commissioner of the MN Dept of Corrections

2:45-3:00:  Break

3:00-4:15:  Mental illness in community corrections

Dwayne Hicks, Ujamaa Place Wellness Director

Aron Gosling, Specialty mental health probation officer

Catherine Johnson, Director of Hennepin County Community Corrections and Rehabilitation

Lori Swenson, Hennepin County Mental Health Court

4:15-4:30: Closing and reflection

Keynote Speaker:

Alisa Roth recently joined MPR News this fall as the newsroom’s first reporter dedicated to covering the topic of mental health as part of Call to Mind, American Public Media’s mental health initiative.

Roth is the author of Insane: America’s Criminal Treatment of Mental Illness, an urgent exposé of the mental health crisis in our courts, jails, and prisons.. Roth, a former reporter for Marketplace, has also written for The New York Times and The New York Review of Books. A former Fulbright Scholar, she also has reported for NPR and The World.

Roth's book will be available for purchase at the conference.

This event is approved for 6.5 hours of continuing education from the following boards.

Minnesota Board of Social Work

Minnesota Board of Continuing Legal Education

Minnesota Board of Peace Officer Standards and Training

Minnesota Board of Marriage and Family Therapy

Minnesota Board of Psychology

Minnesota Board of Behavioral Health and Therapy

Is your organization interested in sponsoring the Criminalization of Mental Illness conference? Please fill out this form.   

Thank you to our current sponsors:

The Heart and Mind Connection

People Incorporated Training Institute

NAMI Minnesota

MN Adult & Teen Challenge

Hamline University Conflict Studies Department

Diversion Solutions

Prairie St. John's

Minnesota Alliance on Crime (MAC)

Mental Health Minnesota

Goodwill Easter Seals Reentry Program

Red River Behavioral Health System

Minnesota Association for Children's Mental Health

ICS Services

Children's Mental Health Case Management Ramsey County

Ambrose Law Firm, PLLC

Heinz Law, PLLC

Lutheran Social Services of MN

Ramsey County Mental Health Court


This event has ended


Hamline University - Anderson Center

1536 Hewitt Ave, St Paul, MN 55104, USA

Map of Event Location