“Breaking Point: New York’s Mental Health Crisis” is a powerful broadcast series about the intersection of poverty, mental health, and the criminal justice system by Cindy Rodriguez, of New York City’s public radio station WNYC. The Vera Institute of Justice is pleased to complement the broadcasts with a blog series that features the voices of experts from a range of fields as they examine how the nexus of poverty, mental health, and the criminal justice system affects nearly every aspect of New York City life. The series identifies gaps in these systems and identifies opportunities for research and reform.


Final thoughts and next steps
June 25, 2015
By Cindy Rodriguez

In this final entry to the Breaking Point blog series, WNYC reporter Cindy Rodriguez offers the motivations behind her reporting and her hopes for the city's response to these issues. 


Public defenders can open the door to health services
April 29, 2015
By Ayesha Delany-Brumsey 

Ayesha Delany-Brumsey, senior research associate in Vera's Substance Use and Mental Health Project, examines the benefits of holistic defense when practiced by public defenders.




The role of research in filling system gaps
March 27, 2015
By Chris Weiss

Chris Weiss, director of Vera's Substance Use and Mental Health Program, discusses the important role research and evaluation play in shaping behavioral health care reform efforts.




Embracing a public health approach to justice reform
March 19, 2015
By Glenn E. Martin

Glenn E. Martin, who spent six years in New York state prisons before founding JustLeadershipUSA, explains how improving public health and justice reform go hand-in-hand.




An interdisciplinary approach to keeping families together
March 5, 2015
By Sandy Rosin 

Sandy Rosin, litigation supervisor for the Center for Family Representation, discusses how providing services and support to parents and caregivers with a mental health diagnosis can help keep families together. 




Laying the groundwork for a more inclusive mental health system
February 26, 2015
By Chirlane McCray 

First Lady of New York City Chirlane McCray discusses the importance of developing a more inclusive mental health system that serves the needs of all New Yorkers.



Chirlane McCray delivers opening remarks at Vera's Justice Reform for Healthy Communities event.



Responding to the lasting impact of violence
February 25, 2015
By Danielle Sered 

Danielle Sered is the director of Vera's Common Justice demonstration project and the author of Young Men of Color and the Other Side of Harm: Addressing Disparities in Our Response to Violence. Here she examines the lasting impacts of violence and trauma and its implications for equity.



Replace fear with science for effective NYC justice reform
Feburary 19, 2015
By Elizabeth Glazer

Elizabeth GlazerElizabeth Glazer is the director of the Mayor's Office on Criminal Justice in New York City. Here she discusses several programs, policies, and initiatives the city is taking to better address the needs of New Yorkers with behavioral illness who come into contact with the criminal justice system.



A holistic approach to helping young people achieve
February 13, 2015
By Lynne Echenberg

Lynne Echenberg, director of public policy at Good Shepherd Services, describes how her organization uses its school-based programs to be a trusted, credible, and everyday presence in the lives of young people, their families, and their communities. families.



A place to call home
February 5, 2015
By Margaret deZerega and Erin Burns-Maine

Margaret diZerega, director of Vera’s Family Justice Program, and Erin Burns-Maine, program manager at CSH, examine two approaches to providing formerly incarcerated individuals with supportive housing, a foundational element in successful reentry.



New blog series with WNYC explores intersection of mental health, poverty, and the justice system in NYC
February 3, 2015
David Cloud

David Cloud, who heads Vera's Justice Reform for Healthy Communities initiative, provides an overview of the Breaking Point blog series and examines mass incarceration’s negative impact on public health.




Cindy Rodriguez is the Urban Policy Reporter for New York Public Radio and author of WNYC's "Breaking Point: New York's Mental Health Crisis" broadcast series.
Listen to learn more...


On Thursday, February 26, 2015, in partnership with WNYC’s “Breaking Point" series, the Vera Institute of Justice hosted:

The Current State of Institutionalization: Addressing the Mental Health Crisis Behind Bars


New York City First Lady Chirlane McCray

moderated by

WNYC reporter
Cindy Rodriguez

Learn more about this event >> 


Vera's Substance Use and Mental Health Program conducts applied research to help public officials and community organizations develop empirically driven responses to the substance use and mental health needs of people involved in justice systems.