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.

Leadership Group

  • Deanna Adams – Senior Policy Analyst, Council of State Governments Justice Center
  • Kirsten Barlow – Executive Director, County Behavioral Health Directors Association of California
  • Bill Brown – Santa Barbara County Sheriff-Coroner
  • Hallie Fader-Towe – Senior Policy Advisor, Council of State Governments Justice Center
  • Morgan Grabau Dosskey – Program Manager, Forensic Mental Health Association of California
  • Brenda Grealish – Acting Director, California Department of Health Care Services, Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders Services
  • Carmen Green – Executive Director, California State Sheriffs’ Association
  • Catherina Isidro – Executive Director, Forensic Mental Health Association of California
  • Kathryn Jett – Senior Policy Consultant, California Forward
  • Darby Kernan – Acting Deputy Executive Director for Legislative Affairs, Senior Legislative Representative, California State Association of Counties
  • Linnea Koopmans – Senior Policy Analyst, County Behavioral Health Directors Association of California
  • Kathleen Lacey – Program Director, UCSF/Citywide Case Management
  • Robin Lipetzky – Public Defender, Contra Costa County
  • Sheree Lowe – Vice President, Behavioral Health, California Hospital Association
  • Rosie McCool – Deputy Director, Chief Probation Officers of California
  • David Meyer – Clinical Professor, Institute of Psychiatry, Law and Behavioral Sciences, USC Keck School of Medicine
  • Ashley Mills – Senior Researcher, Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission
  • Karen Moen – Senior Court Services Analyst (Ret.), Judicial Council of California
  • Janna Munk – Senior Consultant, Training Program Services Bureau, Commission on Peace Officer Standards & Training
  • Kimberly Pearson – Deputy Agency Director, Orange County Correctional Health Services
  • Patricia Ryan – Consultant; Executive Director (Ret.), County Behavioral Health Directors Association of California
  • Linda Tomasello – Senior Governmental Program Analyst, California Highway Patrol
  • Jolena Voorhis – Executive Director, Urban Counties of California
  • Kit Wall – Words to Deeds Project Director, Kit Wall Productions
  • Stephanie Welch – Executive Officer, California Council on Criminal Justice and Behavioral Health (formerly COMIO)
  • Tracey Whitney – Deputy District Attorney, Mental Health Liaison, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office
  • Molly Willenbring - Director of Finance, First Responder Support Network
  • Carrie Zoller – Supervising Attorney, Judicial Council of California, Administrative Office of the Courts


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.