Words to Deeds

Changing the Paradigm for Criminal Justice and Mental Health

Since 2003, Words to Deeds has provided a unique forum that has evolved into a standard best practice for creating a true shift in the paradigm for criminal justice and mental health by fostering successful and ongoing collaboration among courts, criminal justice agencies, mental health professions, and governmental and nongovernmental organizations, with the aim of achieving substantial positive change in the way individuals with mental illness are treated within our communities.

The leaders in criminal justice and mental health participating in this effort strive to end the criminalization of individuals with mental illness by supporting proven strategies that promote early intervention, access to effective treatments, a planned reentry, and the preservation of public safety.


FMHAC is proud to host the annual Words to Deeds conference, which gives leaders in California the opportunity to discuss relevant issues in forensic mental health. The Words to Deeds conference is for "First Adapters," defined as decision makers who collaborate to develop and implement strategies to change the paradigm for criminal justice and mental health. This conference is limited to 100 "First Adapters" in order to provide meaningful interaction with peer leaders interested in moving from "Words" to "Deeds." The event features dynamic presentations, as well as multidisciplinary discussions among agency and organization leaders in criminal justice and corrections, state and local governments, the judiciary, and behavioral health directors and providers.