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Juvenile Justice and Mental Health Conference Scheduled

April 6, 2001

Michigan Department of Community Health Director, James K. Haveman, Jr., and Michigan Family Independence Agency Director, Douglas E. Howard, today announced a Juvenile Justice and Mental Health conference will be held April 10 and 11, in Mount Pleasant.

The conference, sponsored by the Michigan Department of Community Health, the Michigan Family Independence Agency, the Michigan Association of Community Mental Health Boards and the Children's Charter of the Courts of Michigan, will be held at the Comfort Inn, 2424 S. Mission, in Mount Pleasant.

"This is a part of our continuing efforts to bring judges, administrators and policymakers together to address the mental health needs of children in the juvenile justice system," said Haveman.

"When we bring together the different agencies and groups that work with children at the community level, we can dramatically improve the lives of our young people," said Howard.

The conference will include speakers and community team facilitation. Featured speakers include:
** Christopher R. Thomas, M.D., a professor at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, Texas. He also serves as the training director of the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and is chair to the Mayor's Gang Violence Task Force.

** Joel Dvoskin, Ph.D., has been a clinical psychologist who attained national prominence as an expert in managing the risks of violent behavior and has written extensively on the provision of mental health services in the justice systems.

** The Honorable Richard Fitzgerald, is a recently retired District Judge from the Jefferson County Family Court in Louisville, Kentucky. Judge Fitzgerald is a noted lecturer on family preservation, child abuse and neglect and other child welfare issues.

** Lee Anthony Underwood, Psy.D., is a clinical psychologist and serves as director of the Masters in Counseling program at Regent University. He is previous Director of Clinical Services for the Ohio Department of Youth Services, juvenile corrections.

On Tuesday, April 10, registration will begin at 9:00 a.m. The conference will run from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. On Wednesday, April 11, the conference will begin at 8:30 a.m. and is scheduled to conclude at 3:00 p.m.