Mark Speiser
, Ginger Lerner-Wren, and Howard Finkelstein
sparked an international movement …

Treatment Court Nominated for International Award

Fort Lauderdale, FL – Broward County’s ground-breaking Mental Health Court is pleased to announce it has been nominated for the prestigious Innovating Justice Awards for 2013. The awards are given annually by HiiL, a foundation for international justice in The Hague, Netherlands. The prizes go to projects around the world that develop innovative ways to deliver justice. HiiL chooses finalists for the award based partly on votes cast online by the public. The awards will be announced on Dec. 11. They carry a cash prize of 50,000 euros (about $67,000), which HiiL uses to promote the spread of the winning innovation worldwide.  Voting runs from Oct. 7 to 18. To vote, click here(JAABLOG will post a reminder when voting starts on the 7th … )

Since it was launched in June 1997, Broward’s Mental Health Court has provided a compassionate, alternative form of justice to an estimated 16,000 people with mental illness who had been arrested. Before the court’s inception, mentally ill defendants routinely spent months in jail for minor crimes such as loitering or disorderly conduct, rather than getting treatment they needed, according to Broward Public Defender Howard Finkelstein, a co-founder of the program.

Broward’s court was the first in the nation focused solely on crimes caused by mental health, and it tackled a highly complex national problem. For the past 16 years, this specialized therapeutic court has swiftly identified individuals with serious mental illness in need of appropriate mental health treatment and support and diverted them out of the jail system and into community-based treatment.   Research demonstrates that the approach is smart justice that saves tax money, reduces recidivism, and promotes public safety, while respecting the dignity and human rights of offenders.

The court has been widely emulated, by at least 250 cities across the country, and dozens more in the works. Congress embraced the concept as a national model, passing legislation in 2000 to expand diversionary criminal justice strategies. The HiiL Foundation recognized the  achievement, and nominated the program in the category of Successful Innovations.

The court was a bold innovation which emerged from desperation.  Our mental health system of care was in shambles, our jail was over-crowded, and a task force was formed to seek solutions,” said Judge Ginger Lerner-Wren, who has presided over the court since its first day.  “We had no money, but we had a courageous community with a shared vision to deliver justice. Broward’s influence has been profound across the country and internationally.”

For more information about the awards and nominees, and to cast an important vote, visit the foundation, or visit the Mental Health Court’s Facebook Page.

                                    WELL DONE!

60 Minutes: Untreated mental illness an imminent danger? (9/29/13)

25 thoughts on “CAST YOUR VOTE!”

  1. 0


    Speiser is definitely the one who farted. Look at that flatulent face. Guilty as charged.

  2. 0


    1st, congrats to all MH court people. This is an amazing recognition.

    To the rest of you that never have anything nice to say – don’t be so damn jealous because you have such sorry lives.

    Maybe one day before you die, you might actually accomplish something other than being whiney POS’s

  3. 0


    Welcome to FRAUD FRIENDLY FLORIDA! This may have been a good idea but in this state NO ONE GETS JUSTICE! The system is broken, Satz needs to go along with all his corrupt cops! This will work against the mentally impaired not in their favor.

  4. 0


    How many judges advise the litigants that the facilities are run by their friends and family members?
    How many attorneys do the same?
    How many in the public defenders office stand silent & let it happen?

  5. 0


    Mental Health Court is a farce! The recidivism rates are out of control and the placement facilities are nothing more than drug havens for criminals who have faked their way into this boutique court and special treatment. Just ask those who work in the treamtent facilities about all of the problems in those programs. Moreover, you should not have judges in charge of Mental Health Court who need mental health treatment themselves. Never a good thing. Mental Health Court is nothing more that a sham and only serves as an opportunity for some people to get their pictures in the press again and again pretending to be “do-gooders” for the community. Wake up, check the facts, and return all mental health cases to the division judges. It is a waste of time and money to continue to ignore the elephant in the room.

  6. 0


    It’s amazing how many haters there are out there. Okay step up if you think you can do better. instead of the stupid remarks. Wow really intelligent you must of had to dig deep for those. Dumb A……

  7. 0


    great id’er. when are they going to institutionalize incorrigeable judges and prosecutors–that would bge proper MJH for bow wow-woward. But what judge would be judged by another sicko judge. The judiciary—-now-THAT’s recidivism. And they DO breed.

  8. 0


    Needless to say, regardless of any outstanding contributions and those individuals recognized as responsible, the anticipated and never to disappoint Blogging “public ” true to themselves, NEVER HAVE ANYTHING GOOD TO SAY!! And I am certain, that, in large part, that is a result of the outstanding contributions made by those critical and judgmental of everyone but themselves. I am further certain that the sense of entitlement as it relates to the anonymous, gutless character attacks are a further direct consequence of perfection these critics share, in terms of their integrity, character and unyielding principles. This, naturally is why they all share the common thread of ANONYMITY……Those responsible for their heartfelt and unrelenting efforts at bettering the system and actually “doing” as opposed to talkin shit, like the majority of Blog contributors,and are deserving beyond any recognition or praise that could EVER be expressed by even the most genuine and real praise generated by this blog . We can all find the flawed, imperfection and fault of anyone who achieves anything! . The comments of the faceless and anonymous are more telling of who they AREN’T as opposed to who those earning true praise ARE! . Remember, whenever we point the finger, there are 4 more pointing back at us. To all those judgmental, critical, FACELESS bloggers, KINDLY, SHUT YOUR COLLECTIVE PIE-HOLES and chew on this…….. ……..what is it about your feelings of deep inadequacy that motivate you to deflect attention away from YOUR issues, ironically at the expense of those who have accomplished more good on such an enormous scale, that once the reality hits you that, NOT ONLY ARE YOU DEEPLY FLAWED,, you HOWEVER don’t get to enjoy or share in the sense of accomplishment, the selflessness and the other joyful feelings associated with making such a real, significant and compassionate contribution to mankind! Another point you can bet on…… certainly ain’t the ” praise and recognition”anticipated from this blog article and its audience that provides ANY motivation for those three recognized for their accomplishments and deserving of respect on a level beyond what ANY public comment can muster.

  9. 0


    Mr. “SkinnyJeans” Ostrow

    I notice that the times you post your name to articles here are only those where you come out to praise/defend judges. As though doing so is some courageous feat?

    SkinnyJeans: “wow, I am such a renegade coming out here bravely using my name!”

    Reality: “no, Gary, there is nothing admirable about brown-nosing. Never has been, yet you always try it”

  10. 0


    Thank you Dr. Ostrow–it’s too bad you are not smart enough to know how stupid you are. but what else can be expected of a fauxdoc. there are many reasons people do not use their names. many of us know how uselewss our real situations are and that sick little clowns like you do not stand up and put you mouth where the money isn’t because that’s really where you and most lawyers hearts truly are. You are a waste of time because all the truths sopken by unnamed are never going to be addressed by filthy degenerate money grabbing pigs like yourself that have no real conscience beyond that. And THAT, little baby doc is what make you the real and true coward you accuse others of being. Your are nothing more than a representative of the rest of the legal criminal cheapskates particularly in Broward because not one single time have you eve atually refuted any of those comments you condemn. Your alleged profiling only proves your penchant for projection–a psychological defense mechanism–look it up in any abnormal psych book.

  11. 0


    While I may agree with some of what Gary Ostrow said, his praise of MH or Drug court is about as funny as Ronald McDonald giving praise to Michelle Obama for wanting kids to eat healthy!

  12. 0


    To be expected from such a lying ineffective useless do-nothing president of BACDL. You have been profiled and it fits you without any xtra play.

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