Sozosei Summit 2020

Setting the new course for decriminalizing mental illness in America

Dec 14 - 16, 2020

The inaugural Sozosei Summit on decriminalizing mental illness was a three-day event in December 2020. We were honored to have more than 200 multi-disciplinary stakeholders-including advocates, people with lived experience, policy makers, academics, philanthropic leaders, and other experts on mental health and criminal justice— share knowledge and perspectives focused on creating a future where mental illness is not treated as a crime in the United States.

Summit participants universally agreed on the need for better access to integrated healthcare where evidence-based treatment for mental illness is on par with other forms of illnesses. They also aligned on five priority mandates as critical first steps toward the goal of decriminalizing mental illness in the U.S. criminal justice system:

  • Data must inform all policy reform and direct service design
  • Brain health should be considered as part of overall health and should not be siloed from other preventive or acute healthcare
  • Discrimination against people with mental illnesses and the stigmatization of the practice of psychiatry must end
  • Systemic racism is pervasive and must be addressed to ensure equitable access to care outside of the criminal justice system
  • Those with lived experience must be included in the movement to decriminalize mental illness

If you did not have the opportunity to join us at the Summit, you can listen to the recordings from all three days by clicking on the button below.

To peruse additional resources submitted by attendees in advance of and during the Summit, click here to go to our Resources page