Meet the PanelistsJudge Steven Leifman
Judge Steven Leifman speculates on what will happen to a person with severe mental illness who has just been released from jail after committing a small crime.
Judge Steven Leifman

Judge Steven Leifman is at the forefront of a public policy movement in the criminal justice system to reduce the number of people with mental illness in prison, and to develop alternative approaches that offer treatment and support for recovery.

Judge Leifman serves as Associate Administrative Judge in the Miami-Dade County Court Criminal Division and Special Advisor on Criminal Justice and Mental Health for the Supreme Court of Florida.

In Florida, he has been a passionate and tireless change agent. Judge Leifman oversaw the groundbreaking report "Transforming Florida’s Mental Health System," which was prepared by the Eleventh Judicial Circuit Criminal Mental Health Project. He is chairman of the Eleventh Judicial Circuit of Florida’s Mental Health Committee, co-chair of the Miami-Dade County Mayor’s Mental Health Task Force and he serves on a statewide task force with Governor Crist and state legislators to improve Florida’s mental health system.

Judge Leifman is providing leadership on this issue nationally. He is co-chair of the Council of State Governments/ TAPA Center for Jail Diversion Judges’ Criminal Justice/ Mental Health Leadership Initiative, and member of the National Leadership Forum for Behavioral Health.