Program – 2019

UPDATED! Conference Session Schedule – updated (PDF)

NEW! Download the Northwest Law & Mental Health Conference Program (PDF)


For more than 25 years, Bob Joondeph has served as Executive Director of Disability Rights Oregon helping to transform systems, policies and practices across the state.

Bob has led a team of lawyers and advocates who have helped Oregonians with mental illness and in recovery from addiction and alcoholism to keep their jobs, their homes, and their access to health care and education.

Bob serves as a member the Governor’s Task Force on Brain Injury, the Oregon Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Coalition, and the Oregon Council on Developmental Disabilities.

A graduate of Case Western Reserve Law School and Brown University, Bob has lived in Oregon since 1976.

Yale professor and documentary filmmaker Sandra Luckow will join us to screen her award-winning film That Way Madness Lies. There will be a question and answer session after the screening.

This screening is FREE and OPEN to the public. 

“That Way Madness Lies” – a disturbing portrait of the substantial emotional and physical price exacted when mental illness hits devastatingly close to home. – Los Angeles Times, December 13, 2018

“Most honest portrayal of how severe mental illness ravages families and lives that I’ve seen!” – Pete Earley, author of CRAZY: A Father’s Search Through America’s Mental Health Madness

The Oregon Advocacy Award is given annually at the Northwest Law & Mental Health Conference to a great advocate for people with mental illness and addiction in Oregon. The Award represents the perspective of persons represented by advocacy – persons who have experienced mental illness and addiction.

The 2019 Award goes to Beckie Child, MSW of Portland State University. 


Federal Enforcement of State Marijuana Laws
Billy Williams, US Attorney for Oregon

Mr. Williams will be speaking about federal law enforcement of marijuana laws in Oregon and the development of district priorities related to marijuana.

The State of the Criminal Justice Behavioral Health Response in Oregon
Kevin Rau, Behavioral Health Program Coordinator for the Oregon Department of Public Safety and Standards Training
Janet L. Holland, LCSW, Director Health Integration Outcomes for Greater Oregon Behavioral Health, Inc. – GOBHI

Kevin Rau and Janet Holland will discuss efforts in Oregon to enhance criminal justice and behavioral health jail diversion efforts and responses to those in crisis. Information will be presented on several initiatives that have seen a great deal of success in Oregon.

Morningside Hospital and the Lost Alaskans
Ellen Ganley, Information Insights
Karen Perdue, CEO/Executive Director, Alaska State Hospital and Nursing Home Association

Prior to statehood, there were no services available in the Territory of Alaska for individuals who experienced mental illness or developmental disabilities. At the time, mental illness was considered a crime.  Alaskan adults and children were arrested, convicted of being insane, and sent by the federal government to live at Morningside Hospital in Portland, Oregon. They were taken from their families and communities by dog sled, train and boat. In the end, at least 4,500 Alaskans were sent to Morningside between 1904 and the 1960s, when Morningside was finally closed. Many were never heard from by their families again. These are the Lost Alaskans.

Jail Delay: What’s Wrong and How to Fix It
Emily Cooper, JD, Disability Rights Oregon
Kim Mosolf, JD, Disability Rights Washington

Disability Rights Oregon and Disability Rights Washington will jointly present on the problem of jail delay. These delays happen when people with disabilities are charged with crimes but then wait in punitive jail conditions for evaluation and treatment.

Disability Rights Oregon will premier their new video highlighting the voices of individuals with disabilities who are harmed by long jail wait times. Disability Rights Washington will discuss related litigation and outcome data from diversion efforts in Washington State. We will then conclude with a discussion of possible solutions to jail delay.

From Incarceration to Integrated Care
Tina Bialas, MA, QMHP, CADC III; Director of Behavioral Health at Bridgeway Recovery Services

Many corrections-involved individuals struggle with co-occurring disorders, encompassing mental health and addiction issues as well as criminality. Providing high quality integrated care to such individuals has been the mission of Bridgeway’s Corrections Treatment Team for the last seven years. This session will present an outline of what structures, resources, treatment approaches and partnerships have helped shape the behavioral health services and supports that have contributed to reduced recidivism and greater overall health for these individuals in Marion County.

Mental Health Diversion from the Criminal Justice System, A Collaborative Approach
Ann-Marie Banfield – Program Manager for Acute & Forensic Health for Marion County 
Tad Larson – Marion County Jail Commander
Troy Clausen – Under Sheriff Marion County Sheriff’s Department
Melissa Allison – Marion County Deputy District Attorney

Marion County has developed an integrated system for diversion from the Criminal Justice system that offers several opportunities to divert individuals into community mental health programming.

The collaboration includes the Marion County Sheriff’s Office, and local police departments, focused on diversion at the Mobile Crisis level as well as the jail; the Marion County District Attorney’s Office and the local public defenders offices, focused on diversion from the courts and correctional system.

“Unwanted” Patients: Investigating Hospital Reliance on Arrests in Lieu of Treatment or Discharge Planning
Sarah Radcliffe, JD, Disability Rights Oregon
Professor Aliza Kaplan, Lewis & Clark Law School

Disability Rights Oregon is currently investigating the extent to which hospitals rely on calls to law enforcement and arrests as a tactic for dealing with patients who are homeless or who present with challenging behaviors.

Homelessness and lack of access to community-based behavioral healthcare drive up emergency department utilization . . . do hospitals respond by criminalizing the very symptoms and challenges that cause people to end up there?

Creating the Recovery State: Public Policy Advocacy for People in Recovery from Addiction
Mike Marshall, Executive Director of Oregon Recovers

Oregon Recovers is a new, statewide campaign designed to mobilize the “recovery community” to transform Oregon’s fractured addiction recovery system into a recovery-based, continuum of care which recognizes addiction as a chronic disease requiring a lifetime of support. This session will review recent successes in restructuring the policy development at the highest level of state government and review the path required to insure comprehensive systems and cultural change.

The Multnomah County Rapid Fitness to Proceed Program: Evolution, Benefits, and Next Steps
Michelle R. Guyton, Ph.D., ABPP and Alexander Millkey, Psy.D. of Northwest Forensic Institute, LLC

Multiple stakeholders in the largest county collaborated to develop the Multnomah County rapid fitness to proceed program to provide efficient, quality evaluations of detained persons whose competency was in question. This program has grown over its short life and provided attorneys and courts with a rapid assessment of competency and reduced jail delay for such evaluations. In this presentation, Drs. Guyton and Millkey will describe the evolution of this program and data showing how individuals and the court are served in an efficient manner. A final goal is to discuss how to adapt this program to other counties. 

Preparing for Transition – Discharge Planning at Oregon State Hospital
Tyler Jones, MD and Laurie Robertson – Oregon State Hospital

At the Oregon State Hospital, discharge planning starts on the day of admission. This session will outline the strategies the hospital uses to help people successfully reintegrate into the community, including community-based mental health treatment, person-directed treatment planning and partnerships with community providers.

Sentencing Alternatives for People with Mental Illness in a Rural Community
Jonathan Meyer, Prosecuting Attorney of Lewis County, Washington
J.P. Anderson, Lewis County Public Health Department

Rural counties have resource, workforce, and compliance challenges which are very different that metropolitan counties. Lewis County Washington provides a set of options for prosecuting attorneys to offer people with mental illness in lieu of jail. In cooperation with the County’s public health department and private agencies, people with mental illness are being identified earlier in the system and both costs and jail-time have been reduced.