The Future of Mental Health Courts - NAMI-NYC

The Future of Mental Health Courts

People living with mental illness deserve programs and access to health care treatment, not interaction with the criminal justice system. NAMI-NYC is a member of the Treatment Not Jail Coalition, and as a strong supporter of this bill, and the team leading the research for the bill’s fiscal analysis, we would like to expose our community to this issue so we can garner more support.

This event is hybrid. We will have members in our NAMI-NYC office and online via zoom. If you are coming into our office please have a mask on. We will provide masks if you don not have one.

How to Join

This Townhall will be offered in person and online. You must register with a valid email address. This is because all the information you need to join – link or phone number to call in – will be provided via email. You will find that information in your confirmation email when you register and in reminders before the event.

If you have any questions about registering, email Stephen Icaza,

Learn more about our Panel

Elizabeth Kelley: Is a criminal defense lawyer based in Spokane, Washington, with a nationwide practice specializing in representing people with mental disabilities. She is the editor of four books published by the American Bar Association (ABA): Representing People with Mental Disabilities: A Practical Guide for Criminal Defense Lawyers; Representing People with Autism Spectrum Disorders: A Practical Guide for Criminal Defense Lawyers; Suicide and Its Impact on the Criminal Justice System (with Francesca Flood) and Representing People with Dementia: A Practical Guide for Criminal Defense Lawyers, October 2022 (scheduled). She co-chaired The Arc’s National Center for Criminal Justice and Disability Advisory Board and served three terms on the board of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL). She is active in the ABA, serving as a Vice President of the Criminal Justice Section Council, the Editorial Board of Criminal Justice Magazine, and having served on the ABA’s Commission on Disability Rights and as an observer at the hearings at Guantanamo. She currently serves as the Editor of the ABA’s Annual publication, “The State of Criminal Justice.”

Yung-Mi Lee: Is the Legal Director of the Criminal Practice. As a trial attorney and supervising attorney at Brooklyn Defender Services (BDS), Ms. Lee has worked on complex cases and trained attorneys to represent clients charged with a crime. Prior to joining BDS, Ms. Lee was an attorney at Neighborhood Defender Services, an associate at the Law Offices of Brian J. Neary and a law secretary to the Honorable Ellen L. Koblitz of the Superior Court of New Jersey. In her current role, Ms. Lee does advocacy work on behalf of Brooklyn Defender Services on criminal justice reform issues, trains and updates attorneys about legal issues and developments in the law and works directly on impactful litigation, including special legal proceedings to get people out of Rikers Island during Covid. Yung-Mi earned her B.A. from the University of Chicago and her J.D. from Boston University School of Law.”

Katherine LeGeros Bajuk: Is a public defender in New York City since 1994, and the Mental Health Attorney Specialist for New York County Defender Services (NYCDS). She is involved in mental health policy formulation through her work with the New York City Mayor’s Office for Criminal Justice workgroups, testimony before the New York City Council, collaboration with NYCDS’ Policy Team and the coalition in drafting and supporting The Treatment Not Jail Act, and in consultation with the Center for Court Innovation’s Mental Health Stakeholder Committee, and for the development of Manhattan Drug Court’s Mental Health track and the Manhattan Misdemeanor Mental Health Court. She has published Op-Eds in the New York Law Journal, City Limits (co-author), AM New York (co-author), Honey magazine, and is quoted in national and local podcasts, print and electronic media.

Julia Solomons: Has been a criminal defense social worker at The Bronx Defenders since 2016. For the last several years, she has taken on a dual policy and practice role, continuing to represent clients with open criminal cases while also advocating for larger-scale legislative change at the local and state level. She is a strong advocate for the Treatment Not Jail bill, believing strongly in the importance of keeping New Yorkers with mental health and substance use challenges out of jail and allowing them to access goal-oriented treatment support instead. Julia is a queer mama of 2 kids under 4, and plans to raise her children to be anti-carceral, anti-racist abolitionists.

Mark Graham: Mark Graham is a father, husband and chaplain who himself served 3 years in New York State Juvenile Detention Centers and 22 years in a New York State Adult Correctional Facility. He is the Founder and Executive Director of The Redemption Center, which provides housing and essential services for formerly incarcerated men and women, providing a crucial stepping stone back into the community.

Anthony Maund: is a member of the Katal Center for Equity, Health, and Justice and the Treatment Not Jail Coalition. He is formally incarcerated and on NYS Parole. As an activist, Anthony has also helped get the Less is More Act passed into law last year in September and has been a member of Community Not Cages. He has a background of trauma and abuse along with mental health issues, including major depressive disorder, anxiety disorder, and substance use disorder. As a result of childhood trauma, he grew up troubled, got into trouble with the law, and became addicted to heroin, crack, meth, and pills. Today Anthony Maund is over 2 years sober and had been sober for the previous 5 years beforehand. Anthony volunteers his time to fix our criminal justice system and believes that without public health, we cannot ever achieve public safety.


ASL and Spanish interpretation will be provided in the Zoom meeting. Automatic closed captions will also be enabled.