County Leaders to Attend Summit on Reducing Incarceration of Mentally Ill

Orange County officials will be traveling to Washington D.C. in April for a national summit focused on reducing number of adults in jails with mental illnesses and substance abuse disorders, according to a county press release.

Dubbed the National Stepping Up Summit, it is a new initiative created by the National Association of Counties, Council of State Governments’ Justice Center and the American Psychiatric Association Foundation.

Sheriff Sandra Hutchens, Chief Probation Officer Steven Sentman, Deputy Director of Behavioral Health Services Mary Hale, Deputy Director of Correctional Health Kim Pearson and Supervisor Todd Spitzer will attend the summit.

More than 240 counties across the country have signed on to the initiative.

Visit the Stepping Up Initiative website. 

Contact Thy Vo at or follow her on Twitter @thyanhvo.

  • LFOldTimer

    Since it’s the BoS and the Sheriff and their appointed staffs who repeat the same behaviors while expecting different outcomes (the classic definition of insanity or mental illness) maybe the county should send the homeless to a Washington DC summit that addresses how to deal with crazy county leaders. Let’s start there. Maybe that’ll work. Let’s do anything other than what the county leaders have done, which has accomplished nothing. Failure should not be the business plan for the county’s future.

  • OCservant_Leader

    How many trainings does this little group need to attend before they actually DO something?

    Maybe hiring your best friend to lead County innovation in mental health isn’t the best idea?

  • Jacki Livingston

    I am so glad to see that Spitzer will be attending. I hope that it gives him some tools for handling crazy cakes people, like those who would go get a gun and some handcuffs in a public restaurant, because some guy looked at plastic tableware in a “threatening manner”. Oooh, maybe he would learn what to do with nutjobs that send off duty sheriff’s deputies to private citizen’s homes, because he didn’t like the way they criticize that nutter on VoC. Let’s call this some money well spent, if Todd can manage that. *skips off whistling*