WEBINAR: Mental Health Cases II: Crisis and Opportunity for State and Local Trial Courts 

On June 15, 2023, NAPCO held a webinar titled “Mental Health Cases II: Crisis and Opportunity for State and Local Courts”.

This webinar is the second in a three-part series exploring the problems, challenges, and strategies trial court leaders need to know to improve the justice system’s response to cases involving mental health disorders. View the first webinar here.

Our focus in this session is a deep dive into the current state and local trial court landscape involving litigants with mental illness and substance abuse, often co-occurring, and sometimes generically labeled “behavioral health disorders.”

A panel of judicial experts with “hands-on” experience will explore programs and techniques that have proven successful (and unsuccessful) in addressing mental health cases. Among the questions discussed will be…

  • What is the best way to allocate resources and parties to specialty courts (e.g. drug court, mental health court, veterans court, homeless court, etc.)?
  • What are options for those with behavior or substance abuse problems who don’t qualify for treatment courts?
  • Are there effective ways to help defendants with violent felony backgrounds when mental health providers resist serving them?
  • Data shows competency cases have been on the rise across America, are there approaches court leaders can use to address this circumstance in their jurisdiction more effectively?
  • What is the “sequential intercept model” some states and local jurisdictions have adopted to channel cases from law enforcement to mental health providers and the courts?
  • Should trial court leaders promote the sequential intercept model something trial court leaders?

The third and last session will take the form of a special in-person workshop on August 22 at the 2023 NAPCO Conference in Boston. The workshop will highlight the findings and recommendations of the National Judicial Task Force to Examine State Courts’ Response to Mental Illness, a group established in March 2020 by the Conference of Chief Justices and State Court Administrators, which publicized their findings and recommendations late last year.


  • Hon. Paula M. Carey
    NAPCO Board Member 


  • Hon. Paul L. Reiber, Chief Justice
    Vermont Judiciary
  • Hon. Nan G. Waller, Trial Judge
    Circuit Court of Oregon in Multnomah County (Portland)
  • Barbara B. Marcille, Trial Court Administrator
    Circuit Court of Oregon in Multnomah County (Portland)
  • John A. Bello, Principal Court Consultant