Community Resources for Justice President and CEO John Larivee brought Massachusetts’ work to develop and sustain reentry programs to a world stage in July, presenting at the International Congress on Law and Mental Health in Rome, Italy.
Larivee was part of a panel discussion titled “Steps Toward Shared and Pragmatic Frameworks of Forensic Psychological Evaluation, Treatment, and Reintegration” on July 23. He described recent efforts in Massachusetts to advance community-based programs, and presented the principles CRJ embraced in building support:
- Be proactive and transparent with the community; welcome feedback, listen, respond and deliver as promised;
- Engage staff and residents in community relations effort;
- Form local partnerships with service providers, businesses, colleges and others;
- Maintain the facility and property; it is the most visible part of our program; and
- Communicate regularly with the community and public officials.
Reentry programs assist men and women as they transition out of incarceration to help them succeed in the community. Larivee described the process of building and sustaining support for programs while also recognizing the potential for community opposition.
Sponsored by the International Academy of Law and Mental Health, the Congress is a bi-annual gathering of academicians, clinicians, and practitioners from around the world. Also on the panel with Larivee were:
- JiNian Hu, of China University of Political Science and Law in Beijing Shi, China, who spoke on Discharge from Mental Hospitals: Barriers and Countermeasures;
- Annette Opitz-Welke, of Humboldt University in Berlin, Germany, who spoke on Transition Management of Released Prisoners with Severe Mental Disorder in Germany; and
- James Tyler Carpenter, of the Massachusetts Mental Health Center in Boston, who spoke on Steps Toward Shared and Pragmatic Frameworks of Forensic Psychological Evaluation, Treatment, and Re-Integration.