Law and Psychiatry Institute

The Law and Psychiatry Institute (LPI) of the North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System was established to participate in bridging the divide between the criminal justice and mental health systems. Toward this end, LPI engages in advocacy, education, program development, and clinically-related initiatives that are thematically linked by a commitment to informing the dialogue between respective law and psychiatry representatives/institutions.

Ultimately, the overarching goal of all LPI activities is to ensure those afflicted with mental illness whose expression has resulted (at times inadvertently) in acts that have broken the law are properly evaluated and treated so that illness behavior is addressed and not mistakenly criminalized.

Current Activity: Veterans’ Mental Health Court

LPI, working in collaboration with Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman of the State of New York, the Unified Court System of New York, the Veteran’s Administration, and the District Attorneys of Kings County (Charles J. Hynes), Queens County (Richard A. Brown), and Nassau County (Kathleen Rice) established three county-based Veterans’ Mental Health Courts. These courts are designed to divert veterans with mental health disorders (including co-occurring substance abuse) who have committed nonviolent criminal offenses from incarceration to behavioral health evaluation and treatment. This innovative program has a special focus on veterans having served in Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) combat theaters, since for a significant proportion of such soldiers, behavioral health problems may be related to their combat exposure.

Contact number: (516)/(718) 470-8499


Last Update

January 14, 2010
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