FSC professor Risdon Slate co-authors book on mental illness and criminal justice system
FSC professor Risdon Slate, co-author of “Criminalization of Mental Illness,” explores the problems of treating the mentally ill within the criminal justice system.
“Criminalization of Mental Illness” explores the problems of treating the mentally ill within the criminal justice system
LAKELAND, Fla. (August 11, 2008) – Dr. Risdon Slate, professor of criminology at Florida Southern College, and Dr. W. Wesley Johnson, president of the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences and director of the doctoral program in the department of administration of justice at the University of Southern Mississippi, have co-authored “Criminalization of Mental Illness: Crisis and Opportunity for the Justice System.”
The book explores the position that the criminal justice system has become the de facto mental health system, with the three largest inpatient psychiatric institutions in America being jails rather than hospitals. Topics include the need for adequate and appropriate treatment for the mentally ill, specialized law enforcement responses, and mental health courts that offer treatment options and follow-up procedures.
As a member of the national board of directors of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) from 2004 to 2007, the Florida NAMI board of directors from 1999 to 2005, and the Polk County chapter president from 1999-2001, Slate has advocated tirelessly for the rights of the mentally ill. He has published numerous articles, given dozens of presentations and interviews, and testified before the U.S. House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime about mental health reform. He and Johnson made a presentation and had a book signing in June at NAMI’s annual convention in Orlando. Slate will do another presentation on the book in Auburn, Maine in October, and the co-authors will speak on the criminalization of mental illness in Florida as part of FSC’s Florida Lecture Series in January.
“Criminalization of Mental Illness” is published by Carolina Academic Press, Durham, N.C. and can be purchased at Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, and other major booksellers.