March 6, 2018- ABC News Anchor/Dan Ashley interivews Judge Ginger Lerner-Wren about "A Court of Refuge". Judge Lerner-Wren came out to West Coast to launch her book. One Stop was in San Francisco at the Commonwealth Club.
Commonwealth Club- San Francisco
Judge Ginger Lerner-Wren
Judge Ginger Lerner-Wren San Francisco
In early March 2018, Beacon Press will release a book that argues for an innovative approach to America’s newest epidemic: mental health. Written by Judge Ginger Lerner-Wren, who has presided at the bench of America’s first Mental Health Court in Broward County, Florida since its inception, A Court of Refuge: Stories from the Bench from the Bench of America’s First Mental Health Court will argue that “recovery is a reality.”
The book tells the story of the court’s growth from an offshoot of Judge Wren’s criminal division to a court that has successfully diverted more than 20,000 people with serious mental illness from jail and into treatment facilities and other community resources.
Poignant and sharp, Lerner-Wren demonstrates that though mental health courts offer some relief in under-served communities, they can only serve as a single piece of a new focus on the vast overhaul of the policies that got us here. Lerner-Wren crafts a refreshing possibility for a future where our legal system and mental health infrastructure work in step to decriminalize rather than stigmatize. In the words of the Booklist Review, Wren’s work will “make you a believer, too.”
RELEASING MARCH 6, 2018
2015 Awards of Excellence
Elected Official Service in Advocacy
Heading the Nation's First Mental Health Court
Innovator, Humanitarian, Justice & Mental Health Advocate
Judge Lerner-Wren and Broward's Mental Health Court is America's First Specialized Court dedicated to the safe diversion and decriminalization of persons with mental illness. Established in 1997, this innovative court was created as a "specialized diversion court" to address the complexities of mentally ill offenders arrested on nonviolent misdemeanor offenses and to improve the administration of justice for those with serious mental and psychiatric disorders. Since its inception, Lerner-Wren has greatly improved the administration of justice for thousands of individuals with serious mental health and psychiatric disorders.
Award-Winning International Speaker
Justice Leadership Award (2013) Humanitarian of The Year Award (2000), Children's Advocate Award (2000)
Judge Lerner-Wren is the recipient of countless awards and speaks internationally on the The Mental Health Court, Therapeutic Jurisprudence, Recovery, The Mentally Ill in the Criminal Justice System, Trauma Informed Problem Solving Justice and Creating Cultural Change. She is a Huffington Post invited contributor for Healthy Living.
Judge Ginger Lerner-Wren was elected Broward County Court Judge in 1997. Former, Chief Judge Dale Ross, assigned Judge Lerner-Wren to a Criminal Division, where she is responsible for a regular trial division.
At this time, The Broward County Mental Health/Criminal Justice Task force, led by Judge Marc Speiser and Public Defender, Howard Finkelstein, after working for several years, to seek improved strategies to respond to those persons arrested with mentally Illnesses, (Co-Occurring Disorders) and related neurological disorders in Broward’s criminal justice system, elected to create a specialized Mental Health Court and requested Judge Lerner-Wren be assigned to this new Court.
The Broward County Mental Health Court, is a sub-division of Judge Lerner-Wren’s Regular Criminal Court. Judge Lerner-Wren was deemed a “perfect fit” for the court due to her expertise and unique legal experience as Broward’s Public Guardian and for her role with Florida’s Advocacy Center to serve as Plaintiff’s Monitor, in the Federal Class Action, Sanbourne v. Chiles, re: South Florida State Hospital, now known as GEO.
Judge Lerner-Wren and Broward’s Mental Health Court is America’s First Specialized Court dedicated to the safe diversion and De-criminalization of Persons with Mental Illness. Broward’s Court is a renowned national and global model: (Some Highlights)
The Broward Court was the Congressional model for the National Mental Health Demonstration Act, signed by President Clinton in 2000,
The Court was showcased at The White House, presented on CNN, NPR and Good Morning America.
Judge Wren is a former member of the President’s Commission New Freedom Commission on Mental Health, Appointed by Pres. George W. Bush
Judge Lerner-Wren was voted “Top Finalist” for 2013 Innovating Justice Awards, by The Hague Institute for the Internationalization of Law, for Successful Innovation.
Judge Lerner-Wren speaks nationally and internationally and is adjunct Professor for Nova Southeastern University.
Broward’s Mental Health Court has diverted more than 16,000 persons with mental illness out of Broward’s Jail, saving lives, promoting recovery and saving our County millions.