In 2008, Delaware was one of only four states selected by the Council of State Governments (CSG) Justice Center to participate in the Chief Justices' Criminal Justice/Mental Health Leadership Initiative. The purpose of the initiative was to better understand and effectively address mental illness in the criminal justice system through treatment and diversion when appropriate. To lead this effort, the Delaware Supreme Court formed the Task Force on Criminal Justice and Mental Health.
Under the leadership of co-chairs Justice Henry duPont Ridgely and President Judge Jan Jurden, the Task Force has brought together representatives of the judicial, legislative, and executive branches of state government with community leaders and nonprofit organizations.
Charge of the Task Force
The Task Force members use their collective knowledge to develop recommendations for policy makers to improve system-wide responses to justice involved persons with mental illness. Â The Task Force recommendations are focused on advancing inter-branch communication, collaboration, and allocation of resources; the enhancement of victims’ rights; the early identification of adults and juveniles in need of mental health treatment; and the referral, when appropriate, of defendants with mental illness to mental health courts for judicially supervised community-based treatment.
For more information about the Delaware Supreme Court’s Criminal Justice and Mental Health Task Force, please contact Katie Wolinski Coombes, Special Projects Analyst at the Administrative Office of the Courts, (302) 255-0099 or Kathryn.Coombes@state.de.us.