August 26, 2020
Colleen Clark-Bernhardt, 608.266.3022
County Board

The Dane County Criminal Justice Council (CJC) in collaboration with NAMI-Dane County are excited to announce a community educational event on triage centers and the crisis-care-continuum. The partnership between the CJC and Policy Research Inc (PRI), has provided an opportunity to have Margie Balfour, MD, PHD, speak to the Dane County community on September 1st.


Dr. Balfour is the Chief of Quality and Clinical Innovation at Connections Health Solutions and Assistant Professor at the University of Arizona. She has given presentations to several units of government and organizations on the intersection of behavioral health and the criminal justice system.


This event will include a presentation from Dr. Balfour, as well as an opportunity for members of the public to submit questions.


"NAMI Dane County is proud to partner with Dane County's Criminal Justice Council's crisis-care continuum and triage centers forum. As the leading grassroots mental health organization, we believe that in order to decriminalize mental illness and improve outcomes for individuals impacted by mental illness, we must create alternatives to incarceration within our community and close the gaps within our behavioral health systems. Educational events like this provide our community the opportunity to learn about best practices from around the nation and move us closer to achieving these goals," said Anna Moffit, NAMI-Dane County Executive Director.


The virtual event is scheduled for Tuesday, September 1 at 5:00pm and will be streamed online. Participants can join here:



Questions on the presentation should be submitted to to be answered as time allows following the presentation.


"This is a great opportunity for members of the community to learn more about mental health triage centers, and the role they can play in reforming the criminal justice system. I’m eager to start community conversations around all of the reforms we’ve recently announced," said County Board Chair Analiese Eicher, who is also the Chair of Dane County’s Criminal Justice Council.


Dr. Balfour’s presentation will include an overview of the mental health crisis prevalence, impacts of incarceration, and an outline for what is needed for a system response to a behavioral health crisis in addition to an overview of the crisis continuum in addition to speaking about crisis response centers and mental health triage centers.


"Technical assistance with Dane County continues to evolve including identification of best practices, access to information and experts who are leading the way in implementing crisis response to individuals as part of a continuum of services and supports necessary to safely meet the needs of individuals in mental health crisis," said Regina Huerter of Policy Research, Inc".