The Oregon Law & Mental Health Conference is at the intersection of law, legislation and regulation, with mental health, including clinical services, support, housing, friends and families.

The Conference is designed for attorneys and law administrators, public and private clinicians; healthcare administrators; students of the law, social work, psychology and psychiatry; policy designers and elected officials; and companies and individuals involved with the care and welfare of people with mental illness.

Continuing Legal Education and Continuing Education credits are available to licensed professionals who register for the conference, through the Oregon State Bar Association and the NASW of Oregon.

Registration for the March 2 Oregon Law & Mental Health Conference is open. The conference will be held at the Doubletree Hotel in Portland. Click here to register now.

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Judge Ginger Lerner-Wren

Judge Ginger Lerner-Wren
Broward County Court

Judge Ginger Lerner-Wren is currently the presiding County Court Judge of the Misdemeanor Mental Health Court of the 17th Judicial Circuit in Broward County, Florida. She pioneered the nation’s first therapeutic Mental Health Court in 1997 which has been dedicated to the decriminalization of persons with mental illnesses and neurological disorders. The Court defines itself as a human-rights strategy, prioritizing dignity and restorative justice goals and seeks to divert mentally ill persons, charged with misdemeanor and non-violent offenses, into community based treatment as an alternative to incarceration. Judge Lerner-Wren is an adjunct Professor for Nova Southeastern University, Center for Psychological Services, Criminal Justice Institute for Behavioral Health, Forensic Doctoral Program and New York Law School, Center for Disability Law and Human Rights. She is an expert in therapeutic jurisprudence and problem solving justice and speaks nationally and internationally on mental health courts and policy, therapeutic justice, and cultural change leadership and the law.

Decriminalizing Early Psychosis: Oregon’s Early Assessment and Support Alliance


Tamara Sale, MA
Director of the EASA Center for Excellence at the OHSU PSU School of Public Health

Leticia Sainz, LPC
Program Manager of Crisis Services for Multnomah County.

When teens and young adults first begin to experience psychotic illness, they often become involved with law enforcement and the courts. The goal of the EASA network is to avoid or mitigate legal involvement through proactive community education, outreach, engagement and support in these situations. This session will describe EASA, the legal involvement of EASA participants, and how EASA can be a resource to law enforcement and the legal system.
Tamara Sale

Leticia Sainz
Living with a Mental Illness and Modern, Yet Insufficient, Treatments


Natasha Tracy
Award-winning writer, speaker and social media consultant

A personal account of the difficulties and decisions about medication adherence from one of the foremost public speakers and writers on the subject. Natasha Tracy will discuss why a person might not want treatment even if they are very sick. She’ll talk about why people with bipolar disorder, specifically, opt to discontinue treatment and whether those who harm others have the right to refuse treatment. The rights of society vs. the rights of the individual will be discussed.
Natasha Tracy
Police Chiefs’ Perspectives on What Impacts Police Officer Behavior and Performance


Pete Kerns
Eugene Police (retired)

Ron Louie
Hillsboro Police (retired)

In this session, two veteran police chiefs will identify those factors that contribute and influence police officer impairment such as: misuse of force, domestic violence, suicide, citizen complaints, career self-sabotage, absenteeism and failed relationships. They will also discuss what they view as the best strategy to impact and reduce these Impairment Factors.

Areas of discussion: Officer (and military) PTSD, officer suicide, officer stress, training officers in Tactical Communication & Crisis Intervention, and mindfulness-based training/exposure as ways to reduce stress on the job.
Pete Kerns

Ron Louie
Screening of documentary film “Mothering Inside” and Q&A session


Brian Lindstrom
Award-winning maker of documentary films

“Mothering Inside” chronicles the experiences of incarcerated women and their children as they participate in the Family Preservation Project, a program designed to interrupt the cycle of intergenerational criminal justice involvement, poverty, and addiction, and promote healthy mother-child relationships, support successful reentry, and decrease recidivism.
Psychopathy: neuroscience and forensic implications


Octavio Choi, MD

Affiliate faculty member in the Psychiatry Department of Oregon Health & Science University
Director of the Forensic Evaluation Service at the Oregon State Hospital

Why do some people live lawful lives, while others gravitate toward repeated criminality? Do people choose to be moral or immoral, or is morality simply a genetically inherited function of the brain, like mathematical ability? Research suggests certain regions of the brain influence moral reasoning. Dr. Octavio Choi will explore how emerging neuroscience challenges long-held assumptions underlying the basis—and punishment—of criminal behavior.
Octavio Choi, MD, PhD
The Psychology of Hate

Panel members:

Rabbi Ariel Stone
Congregation Shir Tikvah

Mark Schorr, LPC, CADCI
private practice

Joanne Hardesty
NAACP - Portland Branch

Jeffrey Howes, JD
Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office

Cynthia Fowler, MD
private practice

What is at the root of hate?

Does evil exist or is it a manifestation of a broken brain?

A diverse panel of experts will discuss the origin of hate to discern the clinical patterns and discuss the implications of a clinical origin versus and political, economic, or spiritual cause.
Rabbi Ariel Stone

Mark Schorr, LPC

Jo Ann Hardesty

Jeff Howes, JD

Cynthia Fowler, MD
Understanding the Psychiatric Security Review Board: Community Supervision Best Practices


Sid Moore, JD
Interim Director of the Psychiatric Security Review Board

Participants will receive an Oregon forensic systems overview, including history around the insanity defense for adults and youth (GEI/REI), how a defendant asserts the insanity defense during criminal proceedings, the creation of the PSRB and its evolution since the late 1970s and typical progression of clients as it relates to PSRB supervision. Finally, a lengthy presentation on conditional release will be provided. This class will include a lecture and a panel that will discuss their own experiences with PSRB – from a patient perspective to the practitioner perspective and allow for an ample question and answer session.
Sid Moore, JD
Conditions for Individuals with Mental Illness in Multnomah County's Jails


Katie Burgard
Facility Services Manager at MCSO

Sarah Radcliffe, JD
Managing Attorney, Disability Rights Oregon

Michael Reese
Sheriff of Multnomah County

Advocates and public safety administrators have a shared interest in keeping people out of jail if what they really need is behavioral health services, and in improving conditions and services for people with mental illness who do end up in jail. There is broad agreement to reorient correctional operations and link individuals to a variety of external services and providers to better protect those in custody, public safety members, and the community alike.

Attendees will receive an overview of conditions and services for adults in custody with behavioral health issues and the efforts underway to coordinate and improve outcomes.

Katie Burgard
Sarah Radcliffe, JD
Mike Reese
First, Do No Harm: A Trauma Informed Approach


Mandy Davis, PhD, LCSW
Associate Professor of Practice, Portland State University’s School of Social Work

Participants will learn how trauma, adversity, and toxic stress impact our able to engage and provide effective practices. We will review the principles of trauma informed care and identify how our systems (criminal justice, child welfare, mental health) often retraumatize the service users preventing them from being able to attend and/or engage in appointments, proceedings, and follow through. The audience will also consider the impact of toxic stress on providers. Throughout the presentation, we will be noting common "hotspots" in justice proceedings and strategies to reduce retraumatization. We will also intersect procedural fairness and trauma informed care.
Mandy Davis, PhD, LCSW
Forensic Peer Best Practices for people with Substance Use Disorder


Sean Syrek, BA, BS, PSS, PRC
Forensic Peer Specialist and Peer Supervisor

Eric Martin, MAC, CADC III, CRM, CPS
Past President & Director Emeritus of the Addiction Counselor Certification Board of Oregon

The Oregon Regional Facilitation Center and the Oregon Health Authority have released a new text, "Substance Use Disorder Forensic Peer 10 Best Practices Curriculum." An author and editor of the text will review the new curriculum. Forensic peer services are a subspecialty of substance use disorder peer services. This best practice analysis is specifically designed for training purposes. Competencies with specific KSA’s (Knowledge, Skills, and Attitudes) are described in checkboxes for classroom participant self‐assessment.
Sean Syrek
Eric Martin
Overview of Mental Health Courts in Oregon


Judge Patrick Wolke
Josephine County

Judge Ginger Lerner-Wren
Broward County

Judge Cindee S. Matyas
Clatsop County

Judge Ed Jones
Multnomah County

Judge Heather Karabeika
Clackamas County

A panel of judges discuss mental health courts in Oregon and around the nation, their development, operations and effect.
Pat Wolke, JD
Ginger Lerner-Wren, JD
Cindee S. Matyas, JD
Ed Jones, JD
Heather Karabeika, JD
Civil Commitment, Involuntary Treatment the Continuum of Mental Health Services


Bob Joondeph, JD
Disability Rights Oregon

Sarah Radcliffe, JD
Disability Rights Oregon

We will examine the constitutional and statutory basis for civil commitment, how the process works and the role that involuntary treatment plays in the public mental health system. Is it too easy or too hard to have a person civilly committed? What is the relationship between civil commitment and the criminal justice system? What are the benefits, costs and trauma associated with forced treatment? Should judges direct mental health care through outpatient commitment?

Attendees will learn how Oregon's civil commitment process works, its role in the overall mental health system and how it might be altered in the years ahead.
Bob Joondeph, JD
Sarah Radcliffe, JD

OLMHC – Session Schedule (PDF)


Sponsorship opportunities are available now for the March 2018 conference.


Located in Portland, Oregon, Cedar Hills Hospital has been dedicated to helping people with mental illness and/or addiction to drugs and alcohol since 2009. Our 89-bed hospital prides itself on upholding a standard of excellence that allows our patients to take the first step to recovery.

Serving the Pacific Northwest region, Cedar Hills Hospital is accredited by The Joint Commission. Through our compassionate and innovative care, we offer expertise with a team of dedicated board-certified psychiatrists, addictionologists, internal medicine and family medicine physicians.


The Psychiatric Security Review Board was originally established in 1977 to supervise those individuals who successfully asserted the insanity defense to a criminal charge. Recognizing that individuals diagnosed with a persistent mental illness have different rehabilitative needs than convicted defendants, this State has invested in a robust mental health system specifically designed for this population. With public safety as its primary focus, the Board has an exceptional record of reintegrating clients into the community with a 6 year average 0.46% adult recidivism rate. In recent years, the Board’s responsibilities have expanded to supervise youth and certain civil commitments who are placed under its supervision.


The Association of Oregon Community Mental Health Programs provides unified leadership and represents the interests of public mental health organizations in Oregon to develop public policy, best practice training and new technology for pubic agencies, criminal justice and veterans services, childrens’ mental health services, and to put forward state legislation. The Association is a sustaining supporter of the Oregon Law & Mental Health Conference.


Multnomah County Mental Health Mental Health and Addiction Services Division (MHASD) delivers recovery-based mental health and addiction services to Multnomah County’s adults, children, and families.

MHASD offers specific ‘safety net’ services to protect the most vulnerable of members of the community, including crisis intervention and involuntary commitment investigation. Through its Community Mental Health Program, addiction services like detoxification, outpatient, residential and prevention outreach, and mental health programs such as residential services, transitional housing, coordinated jail and hospital diversion. MHASD manages the mental health benefit for Oregon Health Plan members enrolled in Health Share of Oregon.

MHASD also delivers a variety of services to young children, school-aged children, teenagers, young adults and families through programs in early education settings, schools and in the community. Highly trained staff work to make sure that children get the care they need to remain at home and at school and that potentially serious illnesses are treated early.


Northwest Health Foundation seeks to advance, support, and promote health in Oregon and southwest Washington.

By providing grants to initiatives, forming partnerships with health and community leaders, and advocating for policy change, we are furthering our vision of giving every person the opportunity to lead a healthy life.


Columbia Community Mental Health is a non-profit organization whose mission is to provide exceptional services to individuals and families in need of mental health care, addiction treatment, psychiatric rehabilitation, and developmental disabilities services throughout Columbia County.


The Mental Health Association of Portland is the Oregon’s impartial and independent advocate for persons with mental illness and addiction. Our task is to help persons with a diagnosis of mental illness or addiction speak up and speak out – and to speak for those who cannot speak for themselves.


Central City Concern meets its mission through innovative outcome based strategies which support personal and community transformation.

  • Direct access to housing which supports lifestyle change.
  • Integrated healthcare services that are highly effective in engaging people who are often alienated from mainstream systems.
  • The development of peer relationships that nurture and support personal transformation and recovery.
  • Attainment of income through employment or accessing benefits.


Bridgeway Recovery Services is a trauma-informed, integrated care organization offering mental health, chemical dependency, and problem gambling treatment.

Located in Salem, Oregon, Bridgeway also offers primary care and is recognized as a Tier 4 Patient-Centered Primary Care Home.

In 2017 Bridgeway was listed for the third year in a row as one of Oregon’s best nonprofits to work for by Oregon Business Magazine.

“Our staff provides hope, health and freedom to thousands of our friends and neighbors who struggle with mental illness and addictions every day. We believe that anyone can recover and that everyone deserves the opportunity for life filled with hope, love and happiness.” ~ CEO Tim Murphy


Cascadia Behavioral Healthcare is a private, not-for-profit whose mission is to provide healing, homes and hope for people living with mental health and addiction challenges. For information on Cascadia’s comprehensive range of innovative clinical and housing support programs, visit: cascadiabhc.org.

Cascadia Behavioral Healthcare is a Certified Community Behavioral Health Center and part of a national two-year demonstration project to measure the benefits of expanding the integration of mental, substance use and physical health care. Cascadia’s three clinics serve as models for an innovative approach to mental health that treats each patient holistically, leading to improved mental and physical health, lower catastrophic care costs, and reduced stigma surrounding mental health and substance use.


Clackamas County Behavioral Health Division assists members enrolled in Health Share of Oregon in accessing their mental health and substance use benefit through a network of contracted providers. The Behavioral Health Division also assists uninsured Clackamas County residents in accessing these same services. The Behavioral Health Division also operates the 24-7 crisis line and 7 day a week urgent mental health walk-in clinic, Riverstone, for any Clackamas County resident who may be experiencing a mental health crisis. Please visit their websiteto learn more about how to access mental health, substance use and urgent or crisis mental health services as well as trainings and resources available that address suicide prevention and stigma through Hope, Healing, and Recovery.


Kaiser Permanente Behavioral Health Services takes care of the whole you. Your personal physician coordinates your care with a mental health specialist or team that can diagnose mental health issues that affect your health and well-being. Combining research and clinical expertise, we ensure that your care benefits from the most recent advances in medical and behavioral science, and we work with you to find the most effective treatment for you, based on your needs and comfort level.


The Oregon Public Health Division works to protect and promote the health of all Oregonians and the communities where they live, work, play and learn.

Key efforts in 2018 include Oregon’s plan for modernizing our governmental public health system, the State Health Improvement Plan with data-based priorities for improved health in our state, and the State Health Assessment and the Public Health Advisory Board.


Located in the heart of Portland, Oregon, Northwest Forensic Institute is a forensic mental health agency providing forensic evaluations in both criminal and civil matters. We also offer consultation to attorneys on cases involving mental health issues by reviewing case materials and mental health evaluations and providing guidance to attorneys on how to understand the issues. We also seek to provide education to individuals at all levels of training. We contract with the state to provide the Oregon Forensic Evaluator Training Program Initial and Recertification trainings. We also provide workshops and seminars right at our office site and in the Portland metro area. Additionally, we supervise an annual training program for psychology practicum students and postdoctoral fellows.


The Multnomah County District Attorney is responsible for prosecuting offenders who commit state criminal law violations committed in Multnomah County. The District Attorney’s office is committed to the open and balanced administration of justice—one that honors and respects diversity in all of its forms.

Rod Underhill is the elected District Attorney in Multnomah County. The Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office has approximately 200 staff members, including 70 appointed Deputy District Attorneys.


The Department of Human Services is Oregon’s principal agency for helping Oregonians achieve wellbeing and independence through opportunities that protect, empower, respect choice and preserve dignity, especially for those who are least able to help themselves. The Department provides direct services to more than 1 million Oregonians each year. These services provide a key safety net for those in our society who are most vulnerable or who are at a difficult place in their life.

The Department of Human Services Aging and People with Disabilities assists seniors and people with disabilities of all ages to achieve well-being through opportunities for community living, employment, family support and services that promote independence, choice and dignity.


The Oregon Center on Behavioral Health and Justice Integration helps jurisdictions across the state implement and improve systemic and programmatic efforts that successfully divert individuals with serious behavioral health needs from entering various points within the justice system including avoidance of arrest entirely.

In 2017, Greater Oregon Behavioral Health, Inc. entered into an agreement with the Oregon Health Authority to provide specialized training and technical assistance for behavioral health and justice partners to increase knowledge and improve practices aimed at reducing the number of people with serious behavioral health needs who become incarcerated. The Center on Behavioral Health and Justice Integration is a natural outgrowth of GOBHI’s work over the past five years facilitating Sequential Intercept Mapping and Crisis Intervention Training throughout Oregon.

Serenity Lane has been saving lives and putting families back together since 1973. It is a CARF accredited private not-for-profit treatment center for alcohol and other drug addictions. With eight locations in Oregon and the Portland area, Serenity Lane offers inpatient / residential and outpatient services to adults 18 years and older.

The mission of Serenity Lane is to provide a healing environment in which chemically dependent individuals and their families discover an enhanced quality of life through long-term recovery from alcoholism and drug abuse. They believe chemical dependency is a treatable disease. Through education, intervention and innovative treatment services, recovery from the illness can be accomplished.


Ainsworth United Church of Christ


Teras Intervention and Counseling

Sequoia Mental Health Services

Disability Rights Oregon


Northwest Housing Alternatives

Unity Center and Legacy Health


Harris Matarazzo, JD

Philip Shapiro, MD


Clackamas County District Attorney

Columbia County Sheriff’s Office

Oregon State Sheriff’s Association

Washington Count District Attorney


Iris Telehealth
The Meadows
Monte Nido & Affiliates
Microcosm Publishing
Serenity Lane
Oregon Center on Behavioral Health & Justice Integration
Sunspire Health Astoria Pointe
Willamette Valley Medical Center
Solutions Group NW


Attendees wrote to express their appreciation for the Oregon Law & Mental Health Conference.

“I work in health care and it was very interesting to see the legal and community aspects of care for this population.”

“The keynote speaker and lunch were amazing.”

“I enjoyed and appreciated the variety of richness of the topics offered, and the speakers were dynamic and informative. I learned a great deal.”

“Diverse array of subjects discussed at panels, plenty of experts in their fields providing valuable information.”

“The topics were very interesting and applicable to my work. The space was comfortable and easy to get to. The keynote speaker was excellent.”

“Best balance of Criminal Justice and Mental Health Clinicians that I have seen after many conferences on the need for more collaboration.”

“The presenters were excellent, not only in their expertise on the topic and issues, but also in their ability to present information in a clear and interesting way.”

“I really appreciated the wide variety of topics discussed. It was really hard to choose as I was equally interested in multiple subject presented. The speakers were well prepared and well informed. I also appreciated the wide variety of backgrounds represented in the audience which generated good questions and discussions after the presentations.”