Texas Counties and the Mentally Ill - Bridging the Gap

July 18 - 19, 2019

Sheraton Austin Georgetown Hotel & Conference Center
1101 Woodlawn Avenue
Georgetown, TX 78628

Thank you for your interest in the Texas Counties and the Mentally Ill-Bridging the Gap Conference. Online registration has closed, but you may still register onsite. For moreinformation contact Allyssa Lee​ or Adrienne Bethke at (800) 456-5974.

Sheraton Austin Georgetown Hotel & Conference Center
1101 Woodlawn Avenue
Georgetown, TX 78628
(737) 444-2700

Sponsored By

Sponsored by the Texas Association of Counties and the Texas Justice Court Training Center.


According to a recent report from the Texas Judicial Council, approximately 1 million Texans experience serious mental illness in a given year. Also reported, up to 24 percent of Texas inmates have mental health needs. Throughout the state, the responsibility to effectively deal with a rising mental health crisis, as well as shoulder its financial burden, often falls to the court system.

From Harris County’s jail diversion pilot program to improving an overburdened competency restoration system, a great deal of progress has been made to help Texans with mental illnesses over the past decade. But there is still a lot of work to be done.

Bridging the gap will include a concerted effort between justices of the peace, county judges and sheriffs to find creative solutions and take steps to solve these issues. This two-day conference, made possible by a Court Personnel Training Fund Grant, has been organized to help do just that.

Attendees, specifically judiciary and sheriffs, will learn about the nature of mental illnesses in the courts, how to create important partnerships and will hear a number of success stories that could be emulated in other areas.


This program is generously funded by a Court of Criminal Appeals grant. County judges may be reimbursed for attendance in accordance with the grant guidelines. For more information please call Michele Mund at (800) 456-5974.

Who Should Attend

County Judges
Justices of the Peace: Register with the Texas Justice Court Training Center here.

Sheraton Austin Georgetown Hotel & Conference Center
1101 Woodlawn Avenue
Georgetown, TX 78628
(737) 444-2700

For reservations, call (737) 444-2700 and request space in the Texas Association of Counties room block. Rooms at the prevailing GSA rate are limited so please make your reservation as soon as possible. The deadline for this guaranteed room rate is June 26, 2019.

Thursday, July 18
11 a.m.-noon Registration and Information Desk Open
Noon-1 p.m. Lunch and Learn: Learning the Language of Mental Health: From Arrest to Disposition
This course will discuss terminology used by local mental health authorities, law enforcement, and the courts. Being able to communicate effectively is a great starting point towards building a partnership.
1-1:15 p.m. Break
1:15-3 p.m. Streamlining the Magistration Process: Tools for Documenting and Retaining Mental Health Screening and Evaluations
What forms do jailers use? What forms do judges use? How can county officials get on the same page and streamline their processes? This class will investigate best practices for form usage.
3-3:15 p.m. Break
3:15-5 p.m. Emergency Detention Orders: Form Notification to Placement
This session will follow the process for emergency detention orders from the application to the placement.
5 p.m. Recess
Friday, July 19
8-8:45 a.m. Bridging the Gap: Importance of Communication Between the Judiciary and Law Enforcement
Join us for a panel discussion on how counties can set up effective meetings and training with other groups to coordinate mental health efforts.
8:45-9 a.m. Break
9-9:45 a.m. Successful Implementation of Processes
Hear from several counties on processes they have implemented to make mental illness and the jail more effective.
9:45-10 a.m. Break
10 a.m.-noon Brainstorming Solutions for Challenges in Magistrating and Arraigning the Mentally Ill and Impaired
Noon Adjourn

*Agenda is subject to change

This conference provides 8 hours of judicial education credit for constitutional county judges and justices of the peace.

This conference provides 9 hours of TCOLE credit for law enforcement personnel.

This conference provides 8 hours of MCLE credit for attorneys.

Please email Adrienne Bethke or send fax to (512) 477-1324 to cancel your conference registration.

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