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Front Page » Profile » County Judge Steven Leifman Works To Get Justice System To Do More For The Mentally Ill Rather Than Incarcerate Them

County Judge Steven Leifman Works To Get Justice System To Do More For The Mentally Ill Rather Than Incarcerate Them

Written by on November 8, 2012

Interviewing Steven Leifman on Halloween seemed fitting: a conversation on the bewitching day with the county judge who concerns himself with all that bedevils the mind. Shaped by his experience during 18 years on the bench, Judge Leifman has evolved into an agent for change amid the never-ending parade of the mentally ill and emotionally disturbed through the local and state criminal justice systems.

He has spearheaded an unprecedented program in Miami-Dade that diverts non-violent offenders with mental illnesses to mental health facilities and provides crisis intervention training for area law enforcement agencies.

From 2007 to 2010, he served as special advisor on criminal justice and mental health for the Florida Supreme Court, helping produce a groundbreaking report titled "Transforming Florida’s Mental Health System." He also has been involved in a number of other efforts to change the system for the better.

Prior to taking his young daughter out for an evening of trick-or-treating, Judge Leifman sat down in his chambers with Miami Today reporter Scott Blake to discuss why he devotes much of his time and career to helping some of society’s most vulnerable and troubled citizens.To read the entire issue of Miami Today online, subscribe to e -Miami Today, an exact digital replica of the printed edition. To read this profile article in its entirety, subscribe to e-MiamiToday. With the e-MiamiToday you will be able to read the entire contents of Miami Today online exactly as it appears in print. Or order this issue, to receive a regular printed copy of this week’s Miami Today. You may also subscribe to the printed edition of Miami Today to receive the newspaper every week by mail. If you are reading this in Miami Today’s “Online Archive” as an archived web page and would like to see the entire article that was published, call Miami Today, 305-358-2663 and ask for the Circulation Department.   Top Front Page About Miami Today Put Your Message in Miami Today Contact Miami Today © Copyright 2012 Miami Today designed and produced by Green Dot Advertising and Marketingvar gaJsHost = ((“https:” == document.location.protocol) ? “https://ssl.” : “http://www.”);document.write(unescape(“%3Cscript src='” + gaJsHost + “’ type=’text/javascript’%3E%3C/script%3E”));var pageTracker = _gat._getTracker(“UA-4990655-1”);pageTracker._initData();pageTracker._trackPageview();