I was happy to spent time with Ernest Stevens (left) and Joseph Smarro (right), here in Boston. The officers are member of the San Antonio PD Mental Health Unit. On Saturday 4-27-19 the New England premier of “Ernie and Joe” Directed by Jenifer McShane was shown as part of the Boston Independent Film Festival. The … Continue reading “Ernie and Joe” – 2019 Jury Award winner for Empathy and Craft documentary at IFF Boston
A new documentary featuring the law enforcement CIT model of police-mental health response is being featured as part of the 2019 Boston Independent Film Festival. This entry won a prestigious award the SXSW in its film debut. As I retired from police work my interest in law enforcement mental health interactions deepened. As a result … Continue reading Law Enforcement – M.H. encounters – New documentary April 27, 2019 in Somerville
WESTBOROUGH, MA May 5, 2018 When people are in crisis law enforcement officers respond to the call for help. Because of a spate of police officer involved shootings there is a call for less police violence. Yet in fact, it is the primary action of the citizen the evokes the lethal response by police. Those who … Continue reading C.I.T. or M.H. Co-Response: Which model is safer for everyone?
“If mental illness drives the violent behavior than all weapons and substance use must be carefully controlled and eliminated.” Sefton, 2017 Westborough, MA December 21, 2017 Jail diversion is a hot topic across the country even here in Massachusetts. Since July, 2017 the Massachusetts Legislature has passed sweeping changes in the Criminal Justice System. Locally and … Continue reading Public Awareness Needed for Meaningful Jail Diversion
PART 1 WESTBOROUGH, MA July 6, 2017 Jail diversion is a hot topic across the country. The numbers of persons incarcerated for minor offenses and drug crimes has grown. Many of these individuals have mental illness or drug abuse in addition to their criminality. The interaction between poly-substance abuse or dependence and exacerbation of underlying … Continue reading Jail Diversion: Reduced costs by spending more on mental health
Some people are able to endure extreme levels of stress with little to no outward sign of distress while others boil over at the first sign of conflict or emotional ripple. Michael Sefton, Ph.D.
San Antonio, TX – February 25, 2017 Police officers wear many hats these days. I have spent the last few days learning about a specialized police unit in San Antonio Texas with the SAPD. The Mental Health Unit is a small, well-trained group of police officers who have committed themselves to the positive interaction of … Continue reading Police as crisis interventionist: CIT as it is meant to be
WESTBOROUGH, MA April 7, 2018 The myths of mental illness come up over and over when criminal justice reform is discussed. Here in Massachusetts a significant update of the Criminal Justice laws has just been passed and await Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker’s signature. In truth most criminals are not mentally ill. The question is how … Continue reading It’s all about the base – and coming full circle