Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx Recognizes Mental Health Awareness Month and Announces Members of Mental Health Advisory Board

May 1, 2019

In honor of Mental Health Awareness Month, Cook County State’s Attorney Kimberly Foxx reiterates her commitment to improving the Office’s work related to mental health and is pleased to announce the members of the first ever Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office Mental Health Advisory Board. 

Formed in January of 2019, the advisory board is working to help the State’s Attorney’s Office develop strategies around the intersections and relationships between mental health, substance abuse, and the criminal justice system. 

“I am proud of the group of mental health experts and criminal justice officials we have brought together who will work to deconstruct some of the long-standing narratives that are currently perpetuating cycles of incarceration.” State’s Attorney Foxxsaid. “We will also continue to strive to improve the way our Office prioritizes prosecution and diversion strategies when it comes to issues of mental health and addiction.”

The Board is chaired by Dr. Nneka Jones Tapia, former Executive Director of the Cook County Department of Corrections, Clinical Psychologist, and current Leader in Residence at Chicago Beyond. Dr. Tapianotes that “Today we are faced with the critical reality that through failed policy and practice our systems have criminalized people who are sick. It is now the responsibility of all the players in the justice system to work diligently and collaboratively to correct this crisis. Together with the leadership of State’s Attorney Kim Foxx, the expertise of the behavioral health community, and the men and women with lived experience of mental illness, substance abuse, and trauma, we can re-envision a healthy and just system for all.”

The Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office is committed to re-envisioning our policies for those living with mental illness and looks forward to continuing this meaningful work with the help of our Advisory Board. 

Members of the Mental Health Advisory Board include:

Nneka Tapia*

*Board Chair, Leader in Residence-Chicago Beyond, Clinical Psychologist

Laura Brookes

Public Policy & Research- Treatment Alternatives for Safe Communities (TASC)

Chris Carroll

Community Counseling Centers of Chicago (C4)-President & CEO, Mental Health Services and Justice Leader

Dennis Deer

Cook County Commissioner, Vice President Organizational Health & Management-Lawndale Christian Legal Center, Behavioral Health Clinician and Administrator

Matthew Davison

Attorney, Illinois Guardianship & Advocacy Commission

Alexander Heaton

UChicago Urban Labs, Crime Lab-Research Manager

Mark Ishaug

Thresholds-CEO, Behavioral Health Care Advocacy, Delivery, & Policy Leader

Alexa James

National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), Chicago-Executive Director, Clinical Social Worker

Anna LauBach

Special Initiatives Program Director-McCormick Foundation

Pam Rodriguez

President-Treatment Alternatives for Safe Communities (TASC)

Vikki Rompala

Metropolitan Family Services-Director of Quality and Outcomes

Rashad Saafir

President & CEO Bobby E Wright Comprehensive Behavioral Health Center, Clinical Psychologist

Sharon Sullivan

Presiding Judge-State of Illinois Circuit Court of Cook County, County Division

Maureen Ward Kirby

Circuit Judge-State of Illinois Circuit Court of Cook County, County Division

Sharronne Ward

President & Chief Executive Officer-Grand Prairie Services Integrated Health