John Jay College Conference to Explore “An Imprisoned Mind: the Mentally Ill and the Criminal Justice System”

April 10, 2015 | John Jay College of Criminal Justice

New York, NY, April 10, 2015 – Stephen and Renetta Torres, who lost their son Christopher in a police shooting; and Dr. Jim DeGroot, medical director of the Georgia Department of Corrections, head the list of speakers at a workshop for journalists and editors on the mentally ill in the criminal justice system at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City on Monday, May 4 and Tuesday, May 5, 2015.

They will be joined by some of the nation’s foremost experts from the corrections, academic and advocacy communities, including:  Anne MacLeod, Program Director, Houston Crisis Intervention; Robert Trestman, Executive Director, University of Connecticut Health Center Correctional Care; Jeremy Shocket, Chief, Trial Bureau, Bronx District Attorney; and Laura Usher, National Alliance on Mental Illness.

Twenty- five U.S. journalists from print, online and broadcast outlets have also been awarded Reporting Fellowships to attend the workshops and to participate in a year-long reporting project around this topic. The unique health and criminal justice journalism fellowships, now in their second year, are organized by John Jay’s Center on Media, Crime and Justice (CMCJ), and supported by the Langeloth Foundation. The Fellows were selected from a wide pool of applicants based on editors’ recommendations, and will receive financial assistance or stipends that enable them to attend the conference and related events.

“Mental health continues to be an under-explored topic in coverage of the nation’s corrections crisis,” said Stephen Handelman, director of the CMCJ, which organizes the symposium. “Our first year’s program contributed to groundbreaking journalism around the country, and we’re looking forward to the work this year’s class of Fellows will produce.”

The Fellows’ proposed projects range from exploring alternatives to treating the mentally ill behind bars to investigating how police and courts interact with individuals in their local communities. The Langeloth Foundation did not participate in the fellow selection process. A full list of the journalism Fellows is below.

The 2015 Fellows are listed below.

2015 John Jay/Langeloth Reporting Fellows
(in Alphabetical Order)

Virginia Anderson, Juvenile Justice Exchange

Jesse Bogan, St. Louis Post Dispatch

Edith Brady-Lunny, The Pantagraph

Graham Lee Brewer, The Oklahoman

Yvette Cabrera, The Voice of Orange County

Andrea Collier, NBC Black

Kelly Davis, Voice of San Diego

Jake Harper, WFYI

Diana Hefley, Daily Herald

Henrick Karoliszyn, The Gambit

Jonathan Martin, The Seattle Times

Jason Nicholas, Narratively

Andrew Oxford, Taos News

Jessica Pishko, Pacific Standard

Jessica Priest, Victoria Advocate

Mike Rezendes, Boston Globe

Nok-Noi Ricker, Bangor Daily News

Scott Shafer, KQED/NPR

Daniel Simmons-Ritchie, Patriot-News

Marisa Taylor, Al-Jazeera

John Torres, Florida Today

Monica Vaughan, Appeal Democrat

Sarah Volpenhein, Grand Forks Herald

Heather Yakin, Times-Herald Record


The Langeloth Foundation is centered on concepts of health and well-being. For more information, visit

About John Jay College of Criminal Justice: An international leader in educating for justice, John Jay College of Criminal Justice of The City University of New York offers a rich liberal arts and professional studies curriculum to upwards of 15,000 undergraduate and graduate students from more than 135 nations. In teaching, scholarship and research, the College approaches justice as an applied art and science in service to society and as an ongoing conversation about fundamental human desires for fairness, equality and the rule of law. For more information, visit

The Center on Media, Crime and Justice, established at John Jay College in 2006, is the nation’s only practice- and research-oriented think tank devoted to encouraging and developing high-quality reporting on criminal justice, and to promoting better-informed public debate on the complex 21st century challenges of law enforcement, public security and justice in a globalized urban society. For more information, visit or