News Release Header
For Immediate Release:
March 17, 2016
Media Contact:
Heather Needelman


Commissioner Sally A. Heyman hosts County Justice Peer Exchange Program

MIAMI-DADE, FL – Miami-Dade County Commissioner Sally A. Heyman, District 4, is hosting a two-day Safe and Secure Counties Initiative: County Justice Peer Exchange program on March 17–18, 2016 in Miami. Twenty-five leaders in Criminal Justice and Mental Health from around the country will work with partners National Association of Counties, the Eleventh Judicial Circuit, Miami-Dade Department of Corrections and Commissioner Heyman on pressing public safety issues that include site visits at the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Facility, Mental Health Forensic Building and the Richard E. Gerstein Justice Building.
During the Justice Peer Exchange program, elected officials, Department Directors and Judges will engage in a best practices dialogue with Chief Judge Bertila Soto, Criminal Division Administrative Judge Nushin Sayfie, Criminal County Court Division Administrative Judge Samuel Slom, Chair of the Florida Supreme Court Task Force on Mental Health Judge Steven Leifman and Miami-Dade Corrections Director Marydell Guevara.  These discussions will allow stakeholders throughout the country to share information and apply best practices to move forward in their respective jurisdictions. 
“Miami-Dade County has been recognized nationally and by the White House for several pilot programs and initiatives dealing with mental health/mental illness in the Criminal Justice system and the pressing concern of over-criminalizing and over-incarceration,” said Commissioner Heyman.  “This Peer Exchange of leadership at the County level will further efforts in pursuit of what works to saves lives, redirect resources and make our communities safer.” 
Heyman, who chairs the National Association of Counties’ Justice and Public Safety Committee, has focused significant attention on mental health issues in the criminal justice system.  Coming to Miami and having site visits with Judge Leifman was a priority for all attendees.  Heyman’s lead on juvenile and adult civil citation in lieu of arrest has garnered national attention including from the White House.  During the two days, Judges Soto and Sayfie will cover new court initiatives for veterans, mental health and cost saving practices.  Friday, Judge Slom will provide hands-on insights into his driver license reinstatement efforts with participant engagement in nine courtrooms. 
Heyman, who takes pride in showcasing the advancements Miami-Dade has made in the criminal justice system – police, courts and corrections – is welcoming the opportunity to both teach and learn and better the services we provide here in our County.