Leaders from B.C.’s justice and public safety sector, along with experts in the areas of mental health and addictions, joined for a two-day summit to discuss the challenges faced by those with mental health and/or substance use issues when they interact with the criminal justice system.
The sixth Justice Summit – the first of two summits in 2016 – focused on mental health and substance use that may drive contact with the criminal justice system. With an emphasis on the justice system’s response and points of co-ordination with mental health and addictions services, participants discussed priority areas of work to improve outcomes for those within the system.
Summit participants encouraged innovation and collaboration across sectors and identified areas where proposals can be developed for recommended action plans at the next summit in November 2016.
A report of the summit’s recommendations will be delivered next month to Attorney General and Minister of Justice Suzanne Anton, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General Mike Morris and to the chief justices and chief judge of the province's three courts. The report will also be posted online at: http://www.justicebc.ca/justice-summits/
The chief justices and chief judge have communicated to the Attorney General and to the Solicitor General their continued support for the summit process.
- The summit took place at the University of B.C.’s Allard School of Law June 10 and 11, 2016.
- Proceedings from the sixth Justice Summit will inform the seventh summit this fall, where participants will review suggestions from the June summit and consider concrete proposals for action.
- The Justice Reform and Transparency Act requires that a Justice Summit be held at least once a year.
- Attendees at the sixth summit included the judiciary, defence bar, police services, clinicians, health administrators, health subject matter experts, academics, Aboriginal organizations, justice services providers, the ministries of Justice, Public Safety, Health, Children and Family Development and Social Development and Social Innovation, as well as the federal government.
- Government is committed to continue and improve supports to individuals and families that are impacted by mental health challenges and has created a Cabinet Working Group on Mental Health to take stock of existing mental health programs and services and develop a cross-system response to the issue.
Read the proceedings of previous summits: http://www.justicebc.ca/justice-summits/
More about the Justice and Public Safety Council: http://www.justicebc.ca/