Treatment Not Jail, For People with Mental Illness

Summary of Panel Presentation

Education and collaboration between criminal justice and mental health providers are crucial elements in promoting prevention. A therapeutic disposition as opposed to jail sentence is a proven better outcome for the mentally ill. Interventions at the earliest point of entry and increased training such as Crises Intervention Team (CIT) have been helpful in diverting mentally ill individuals into the mental health system. There are several resources in the community that work; however everyone needs to do it collaboratively in order for positive outcome.



Detective Lieutenant Richard Cavanaugh, a highly-decorated 23 year police veteran, has helped transform the inner culture of police society in his urban New Jersey district. As commander of the department’s Hostage Negotiation Team, a certified Crisis Intervention Training Specialist, and a Police Academy Instructor, Rich is an enthusiastic leader possessing the unique ability to inspire individuals long resistant to change through an equal part mixture of humor, empathy, and fairness.

Lt. Cavanaugh also sits on various local and state committees. As both the Essex County Coordinator for Crisis Intervention Training and a member of the NJ State Committee for Crisis Intervention Training, Rich is responsible for implementing policy and training curriculum impacting thousands of law enforcement officials and countless mental health communities throughout the state.



M GarciaMs. Manuela Garcia has worked in the field of mental health serving children, families and adults in New Jersey since 1995 when she graduated from St. Joh n’s University in January 1995.  Soon after her college graduation she went on to graduate school at Rutger’s University and achieved her M.S.W in May, 2000.   She is currently a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) in the state of NJ who currently serves as the Director of Assisted Outpatient Treatment Services (AOTS) for Essex County. AOTS also known as Involuntary Outpatient Commitment, (IOC) is a program operated by the Mental Health Association of Essex County (MHAEC).    She has worked at MHAEC for the last 14 years; Ms. Garcia has worked for the MHAEC serving in multiple positions. She was a Team Leader for the Integrated Case Management Services (ICMS) and then became the Program Director of Collaborative Justice Services (CJS).  She has been a strong advocate, continuously assisting in breaking barriers for effective treatment of incarcerated individuals at the Essex County Correctional Facility and has been able to make some significant changes in successfully diverting offenders into the community. Her hard work in this program area has earned recognition from the State for its high success rate of diversion as opposed to incarceration.  In her current position as the Program Director for the IOC program in Essex County, Ms. Garcia has been instrumental in assisting the New Jersey with developing a State-Wide treatment plan. She has been recognized for her leadership and advocacy in assisting and has received several awards for her dedication to the field including a National-International award given at CIT in Las Vegas in 2012.



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