Advocacy update

Decriminalizing Mental Illness – An Urgent Issue Briefing
Approximately 60% of individuals in the prison and jail systems live with a diagnosable mental illness, and most find out for the first time after they have been incarcerated. This is completely unjust. One of NAMI-NYC’s advocacy goals is to promote non-police response to mental health crises calls across the city, including the implementation of a 988 number, and peer-led response teams, to prevent this issue.

Panelists discuss the root causes of the over-criminalization of people living with mental illness, especially Black and brown individuals. We delve into the issues of broken windows policing around the city and within NYCHA housing, bias and discrimination in non-peers responding to crises calls, the mental health care infrastructure needed to respond to crises calls around the city, as well as other crucial topics regarding mental health and decriminalization. Our goal is to have audience members act to ensure that our new leadership knows how to appropriately address these issues across the city.

Our panelists:

Solomon Acevedo, Community Organizer for Justice, Health Equity & Safety and Housing Equity, Office of the New York City Public Advocate
Felix Guzman, Peer advocate, Poet, organizer with VOCAL-NY, CCIT-NYC Steering Committee Member
Peggy Herrera, Family advocate, Organizer with Freedom Agenda, CCIT-NYC Steering Committee Member
Ann-Marie Louison, Chief Strategic Initiatives Officer, the Center for Alternative Sentencing and Employment Services (CASES)
Alex Vitale, Professor of Sociology and Coordinator of the Policing and Social Justice Project at Brooklyn College and author of The End of Policing
Cosponsored by the Police Reform Organizing Project (PROP), Correct Crisis Intervention Today-NYC (CCIT-NYC), Community Access, and others.

Watch the replay here