Fixing the Incentives that Force Sheriffs to be Mental Health Providers: A Long Overdue Opportunity

December 4, 2019
3:00pm - 4:00pm

A recent study by the Treatment Advocacy Center and the National Sheriffs Association found that law enforcement spent a fifth of their time transporting or responding to people with mental illness, at a cost of nearly $1 billion a year. How did we get here? How did the system get so broken?

But even more importantly, how can sheriffs help change the incentives forcing law enforcement to become treatment providers and filling our jails with people with mental illness? Hint: It’s not just a matter of more training!

Join John Snook, executive director of the Treatment Advocacy Center, to:

  • find out how sheriffs can take advantage of this unique moment of public attention
  • hear about new federal and state initiatives to rebuild restore inpatient beds and crisis response centers to truly decriminalize mental illness
  • find out how you can help shift the narrative from “why aren’t the sheriffs doing even more?” to “why is the system failing our sheriffs and people in need?”

** This webinar has been certified by the National Sheriffs' Association and may be eligible for Continuing Education Units through your POST. Please consult your local certification processes for additional details. Paid subscribers that attend will be able to download a jointly issued attendance certificate that includes the National Sheriffs' Association logo.


John Snook serves as executive director of the Treatment Advocacy Center, widely recognized as one of the most influential mental health advocacy organizations in existence today. More than half of the states have reformed their mental health laws as a result of the Treatment Advocacy Center’s advocacy, and their original research on issues such as the criminalization of mental illness has reshaped the national narrative on the treatment of severe mental illness.

Mr. Snook brings the organization more than 15 years of policy and advocacy experience at both the federal and state levels. Prior to joining the Treatment Advocacy Center, John worked on policy issues at the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) and at Habitat for Humanity International.

At Habitat, John grew the nascent state and local advocacy network into a driving nationwide force for affordable housing policy. John also co-led Habitat’s response to the foreclosure crisis, ultimately resulting in thousands of new Habitat homes and more than $350 million in new funding to address foreclosed properties.

John’s true passion has always been mental health reform. His focus on the issue began in law school, as he saw a loved one struggle with untreated mental illness. John championed mental illness reform, working first with the West Virginia Supreme Court on mental health issues and then at the Treatment Advocacy Center as an advocate for state mental health reform. His return as executive director represents a homecoming to these important issues.

John received his J.D. from the George Mason School of Law and his B.A. from Washington & Jefferson College.

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Carrie Hill is an attorney and national criminal justice consultant.  She has dedicated her 29-year career to providing professional development seminars in correctional law, along with criminal justice consulting, to educate and empower those working in the correctional industry.  

Ms. Hill’s passion for and expertise of corrections law is known nationally. She makes the law come alive and applicable regardless of rank – from report writing techniques and legal-based policy development to risk assessment and offensive approaches in the event of prisoner litigation.  

Ms. Hill’s contributions to corrections go beyond professional development to consulting for and defense of correctional facilities, management and staff.  She is also the former General Counsel to the Utah Department of Corrections, Editor of Corrections Managers’ Report and most recently, the Senior Administrative Manager to Sheriff Richard Stanek in Hennepin County, MN.

Ms. Hill accepted a new role in June 2017 with the National Sheriffs' Association as the Director of the National Center for Jail Operations (NCJO).