Adults and Children in the Criminal-Mental Health-Immigration Systems: Present Challenges and Advocacy Efforts
Adults and Children in the Criminal-Mental Health-Immigration Systems:
Present Challenges and Advocacy Efforts
Tuesday, March 30, 2021
2:15 pm ET / 11:15 am PT
The criminal legal, immigration, and mental health systems are all interconnected. Individuals who go through the criminal legal and immigration systems face stressors unique to those experiences that can increase the risk of mental health concerns but face a number of barriers to care.
In honor of National Criminal Justice Month, join us for this 90-minute webinar where presenters from the Vera Institute of Justice will discuss:
- The points of connection – the “pipeline” – between the criminal, immigration, and mental health systems, with a specific focus on adults with serious mental health conditions in immigration detention and unaccompanied children who enter the United States;
- Some of the most challenging harms that adults and children with mental health conditions experience in these interconnected systems;
- Two successful programmatic interventions to provide legal representation to adults and children with mental health conditions in these interconnected systems; and
- Shared advocacy goals and reform efforts, including the pursuit of racial justice, across the criminal, immigration, and mental health rights fields.
This webinar will be recorded and available to the public within 1 week. We do not offer CEUs, but certificates of attendance will be available after the event.
Meet the Speakers:
Derek Loh, J.D., is a senior program associate with Vera’s Unaccompanied Children Program, a national initiative to increase access to legal information and representation for unaccompanied children facing removal. Before joining Vera in December 2019, Derek was a managing attorney at Immigrant Defenders Law Center in Los Angeles, where he provided deportation defense to children, adults, and families. Derek earned his JD from the University of North Carolina School of Law, an MA from the School of Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California, and a BA in anthropology from Davidson College. He’s a member of the State Bars of California and New York, and is based in Los Angeles.
Gregory Pleasants, M.S.W., J.D., is the director of transition in the Center on Immigration and Justice (CIJ) and leads new areas of work that build on CIJ’s success managing programs that provide universal, zealous, person-centered legal defense to people in immigration proceedings. Previously, Gregory directed the National Qualified Representative Program (NQRP), which provides counsel to people who are detained, unrepresented, and found mentally incompetent to represent themselves in immigration proceedings. Gregory joined Vera in 2015 after helping the Executive Office for Immigration Review create the NQRP. Gregory's work follows service as public defender at Federal Defenders of San Diego and Guilford County Public Defender (North Carolina) and returns to the focus of his 2007 EJW fellowship creating protections—including the right to counsel—for people in immigration proceedings with mental health conditions. Gregory has practiced as a social worker in a psychiatric hospital and taught mental health policy at CSU-Fullerton. Gregory currently teaches mental health law at the USC School of Law. Before earning his joint JD/MSW at USC, Gregory spent years as an AmeriCorps volunteer and working with children living on the street in Mexico and Nicaragua.