NJ Supreme Court Justice Lee Solomon

GALLOWAY TOWNSHIP – A virtual panel event on Tuesday, April 16 will feature New Jersey Supreme Court Justice Lee Solomon and a lineup of experts covering a broad range of topics related to mental health in the justice system.

The free livestreamed event will take place 3-5 p.m. and is sponsored by the William J. Hughes Center for Public Policy at Stockton University. The livestream can be viewed on the Hughes Center’s website and YouTube channel. A video recording of the program will also be archived on the center’s website and YouTube for later viewing.

The panelists include:

  • Justice Lee Solomon, associate justice of the New Jersey Supreme Court. He is chair of the court’s Committee on Wellness in the Law.
  • Timothy McGoughran, president of the New Jersey State Bar Association.
  • Judge Nan Waller, Multnomah County Circuit Judge in Portland, Oregon. She presides over a mental health court and competency docket.
  • Judge James Bianco, judge of the Superior Court of Los Angeles. He presides over a full-time mental health courtroom and works with a program that diverts those with mental illness from the criminal justice system.
  • Retired Recovery Court Judge Mark Sandson. He is vice chair of the N.J. Judiciary Opportunities for Building Success (JOBS) program, which aims to secure employment for probation clients.
  • Iyana James, associate director of Justice Involved Services at Jewish Family Services of Atlantic County.

The event will be moderated by retired assignment judge Julio Mendez, who’s a Hughes Center senior contributing analyst.

Solomon will kick off the panel by discussing the efforts of the Committee on Wellness in the Law in ensuring members of the legal community have access to necessary support. McGoughran will also provide perspective about the mental health of those in the legal profession.

The panel will then pivot to explore initiatives and diversionary programs that aim to assist those with mental health issues who enter the criminal justice system. Waller and Bianco, members of the National Judicial Task Force to Examine State Courts’ Response to Mental Illness, will provide their insight.

For local perspective, Sandson will discuss how the JOBS program in New Jersey helps successful recovery court and probation clients rebuild their lives. Lastly, James will present on the various support services offered by Jewish Family Services of Atlantic County to individuals in the criminal justice system.

“The initiatives that will be discussed during this event are paving the way for a justice system that prioritizes recovery for those struggling with behavioral health disorders,” said Hughes Center Interim Director Alyssa Maurice.

The Hughes Center has sponsored other events exploring law-related issues. Visit https://stockton.edu/hughes-center/events.html to learn more.

Nanette LoBiondo Galloway

Award winning journalist covering news, events and people of Atlantic County for more than 20 years.