Treating the Severely Mentally Ill, a Homeland Security Wicked Problem


In this Viewpoints, CHDS master’s degree alumnus Michael Biasotti interviews Florida 11th Judicial District Judge Steve Leifman on how severe mental illness affects homeland security. The criminal justice system has become the safety net for what in some areas is a fragmented mental health support system with police, fire and EMS on the front lines. Leifman calls for homeland security professionals to familiarize themselves with their local mental health resources, just as local police are increasingly doing. He supports approaches such as Alternative Outpatient Treatment that shifts the severely mentally ill to the health system rather than jails. “It’s not being soft on crime. It’s being smart about crime.”

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Viewpoints in Homeland Defense and Security

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