Board of Directors
Munir Sewani, PhD
Department of State Hospitals
Munir A. Sewani, PhD., is a Consulting Psychologist of the forensic Conditional Release Program (CONREP) of California, where he is responsible for providing clinical and administrative support and consultation to outpatient conditional release programs primarily in Southern California. Within California Department of State Hospitals, CONREP provides community-based treatment and supervision of individuals determined by the courts to be Incompetent to Stand Trial, Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity, or a Mentally Disordered Offender. Dr Sewani has worked as forensic coordinator of San Bernardino/Riverside CONREP for 17 years and 20 years for San Bernardino County Behavioral Health as a clinician and supervisor for the inpatient psychiatric unit. He briefly worked at California Department of Corrections and Patton State Hospital before taking his current position with SDH in December 2010. Dr. Sewani has served on the Forensic Mental Health Association of California’s Board of Directors since 2005.
Sam Knudsen, Esq
Office of the Public Defender
San Bernardino County, CA
I have lived my entire life in southern California. I went back to school later in life and got my Bachelor's of Art in Psychology from San Diego State University. I worked my way through school at a local, for profit, psychiatric hospital in San Diego County. Somehow, I got side-tracked from my goal of a Ph.D. in psychology and ended up in law school.
Since passing the State Bar in 1995, I have practiced mostly criminal law in 28 counties within the state. I closed my private practice after almost 10 years and joined the San Bernardino County Public Defender's Office in November 2004. Since joining the office, I have tried to focus much of my effort on educating and enlightening attorneys in my office, as well as judges within the county, as to special challenges faced by the mentally ill and mentally retarded caught in criminal justice system.
As Vice President and Chair of the Public Policy Committee, I look forward to doing whatever I can to promote the goals of the Forensic Mental Health Association and to help the less fortunate in our society. Please feel free to contact me directly with any questions, suggestions or comments at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kevin Rice, LCSW
Liberty Healthcare Corp -
Restoration of Competency (ROC) Program
Rancho Cucamonga, CA
Kevin Rice, LCSW, is the Executive Director of Liberty Healthcare’s Restoration of Competency (ROC) Program located at West Valley Detention Center in Rancho Cucamonga, CA. Under his direction, Liberty Healthcare successfully launched the first jail-based restoration program in the state of California, creating a viable treatment alternative to state hospitals for Incompetent to Stand Trial felons. In addition to his years of forensic mental health experience as a CONREP therapist, Casework Supervisor, and CONREP Evaluator in Los Angeles County, Kevin has worked in a number of non-forensic settings providing clinical supervision and operational direction. He holds a Master’s degree in Social Work (‘92), and a Masters of Science degree in Human Development and Family Studies (‘92) from the University of Illinois. He earned his bachelor’s degree in Social Work and Sociology (‘88) from Augustana College (Rock Island, Illinois), and is a California Licensed Clinical Social Worker (1995).
Cynthia Lermond, PsyD
Los Angeles, CA
Cynthia Lermond is a licensed Clinical Psychologist whose career has focused in the area of forensic psychology. From 2004 to 2007, she lead a pilot program at Pacific Clinics, which provided intensive forensic outpatient treatment to individuals referred through the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health Court Program. In 2007, she assumed the position of Evaluation Manager for the Gateways Hospital Conditional Release Program (CONREP) in Los Angeles. In this role, Dr. Lermond directed the forensic evaluations of over 600 patients in the state hospitals, provided expert witness testimony, and acted as a liaison to the state hospitals and CONREP Operations. In 2008, she was promoted to Clinical Director, a position she continues to hold. As Clinical Director, Dr. Lermond oversees the Forensic Evaluation Unit and provides clinical consultation and training to Gateways CONREP’s three forensic outpatient programs which render court directed treatment and supervision to over 100 individuals in the community. She also continues to conduct a variety of forensic evaluations, provides expert witness court testimony, and co-facilitates the treatment group for PC 290 registrants/sex offenders. In addition to her work at Gateways CONREP, Dr. Lermond has a small private practice in the Los Angeles area where she provides individual therapy to adults struggling with depression, anxiety, grief, childhood trauma, and relationship issues.
Director of Conference
Jane Lovelle, LCSW
Jail Psychiatric Services
San Francisco, CA
Jane Lovelle, LCSW, MPH, is the Deputy Director of Jail Psychiatric Services in San Francisco as well as the Co-Director of Intern Training. She also conducts surveys throughout California for the Institute of Medical Quality, ensuring that acceptable standards are being met for those inmates with mental illnesses who are incarcerated in jails, juvenile halls, and boys camps. In addition, Jane is a private consultant, hired by counties to review and make recommendations that will enhance mental health programs and treatment in correctional settings.
She previously worked for the University of California, San Francisco, as a researcher in the field of HIV and high risk behaviors. She has presented in this area and has published several academic articles as well as co-authored a book chapter. She attained her degrees from Columbia University and the University of California at Berkeley.
Early in her career, Jane was one of the first female professional poker players in Las Vegas, who used her winnings to put herself through school.
Jane has been actively involved in the Forensic Mental Health Association of California for the past 10 years, serving as Director of Conference, Director of Education, and on the Planning Committee.
Director of Education
Jeffery Elias, JD
Former Attorney with the Public Defender's Office, Mental Health Division
San Diego, CA
Jeffery Elias, JD, is presently a consultant with agencies, individuals and organizations in reference to mental health law, involuntary civil commitments, community re-entry programs, behavioral health courts and a variety of competency issues. After 25 years with San Diego County Public Defender, Jeff retired in 2012 where he had been the Supervising Attorney of the Mental Health Division, the exclusive public entity designated to handle all involuntary civil commitments, including LPS matters. Also, Jeff was instrumental in planning, designing, organizing and operating San Diego’s Behavioral Health Court.
Earlier in his career, Jeff spent twelve years with the Los Angeles Public Defender's Office where he handled hundreds of trials, thousands of miscellaneous proceedings in both Municipal and Superior Court, representing juveniles, the mentally ill, and clients charged with misdemeanor and felony offenses.
Jeff received his BA from UCLA and his JD from Loyola University School of Law, Los Angeles.