Critical Conversation: Justice & Mental Health

Katie Almond, Ranney Hintsa, Melissa McMillan and Derek Pallandi

Critical Conversation: Justice & Mental Health

Katie Almond, Ranney Hintsa, Melissa McMillan and Derek Pallandi

1:30pm

Sunday, June 4

TIFA’s most provocative conversation series returns, exploring thrilling new themes for MOTIVE audiences. Each day of the Festival, authors and experts examine the culture and politics that shape the world around us and the books we read.

The relationship between the law and people living with mental health illness is complex. There are many misconceptions about mental illnesses and a poor understanding of how people with serious mental health issues wind up in the criminal justice system. Although the vast majority of people living with mental health and addictions conditions rarely come into contact with the criminal justice system, there is an over-representation of them in Canadian courts and correctional/remand facilities.

When incarcerated, they often face a variety of challenges that can worsen their symptoms, , resulting in a population that exhibits substantially higher mental health concerns than in the general population, and with reduced access to critically needed health services.

Justice activist and former probation and parole officer Katie Almond, defence lawyer Ranney Hintsa, developmental justice case manager Melissa McMillan and forensic psychiatrist Derek Pallandi will come together for an expert discussion on how, government, communities, police and social service providers must work closely together to protect those who are vulnerable from entering the criminal justice system; and address the social determinants of health to prevent a repetitive cycle from occurring.

During the event, Adrian Hayles will be documenting the conversation with a set of loose, court-room style portraits of speakers.

Event Info:
Date & Time: June 4 at 1:30pm ET
Where: Stage in the Park on Harbourfront Centre’s West Lawn
Duration: 60 minutes

This conversation is presented as part of the free events at #MotiveTO, taking place on the stage in the park and open to the general public. No tickets or passes are needed to attend.

This event is presented in partnership with Provocations Festival.

TIFA Logo white         

TIFA’s most provocative conversation series returns, exploring thrilling new themes for MOTIVE audiences. Each day of the Festival, authors and experts examine the culture and politics that shape the world around us and the books we read.

The relationship between the law and people living with mental health illness is complex. There are many misconceptions about mental illnesses and a poor understanding of how people with serious mental health issues wind up in the criminal justice system. Although the vast majority of people living with mental health and addictions conditions rarely come into contact with the criminal justice system, there is an over-representation of them in Canadian courts and correctional/remand facilities.

When incarcerated, they often face a variety of challenges that can worsen their symptoms, , resulting in a population that exhibits substantially higher mental health concerns than in the general population, and with reduced access to critically needed health services.

Justice activist and former probation and parole officer Katie Almond, defence lawyer Ranney Hintsa, developmental justice case manager Melissa McMillan and forensic psychiatrist Derek Pallandi will come together for an expert discussion on how, government, communities, police and social service providers must work closely together to protect those who are vulnerable from entering the criminal justice system; and address the social determinants of health to prevent a repetitive cycle from occurring.

During the event, Adrian Hayles will be documenting the conversation with a set of loose, court-room style portraits of speakers.

Event Info:
Date & Time: June 4 at 1:30pm ET
Where: Stage in the Park on Harbourfront Centre’s West Lawn
Duration: 60 minutes

This conversation is presented as part of the free events at #MotiveTO, taking place on the stage in the park and open to the general public. No tickets or passes are needed to attend.

This event is presented in partnership with Provocations Festival.

TIFA Logo white         

Featured Authors

Katie Almond was employed in the criminal justice system for 37 years, 33 of which were as a Probation and Parole Officer with the Ministry of the Solicitor General. For 20 years, she worked with a client population marked by poverty, homelessness, mental illness, physical and developmental disabilities, and polysubstance use. On four occasions, she was seconded to corporate branches, working on projects in Programme Development; Employee Wellness; Oversight and Accountability; and Community Reintegration. Ms. Almond has been involved in the development of extensive community networks and collaborative initiatives. She was the Co-Chair of both the Downtown Toronto, and Provincial Human Services and Justice Co-ordinating Committees. In addition, she is a member of the Board of Sound Times Support Services; CMHA Toronto; the CAMH Constituency Council; and a number of research projects examining the impact of COVID-19 on correctional clients. Ms. Almond possesses a Bachelor’s degree in psychology (Honours) and a Master’s Degree in Education.

Read more about Katie Almond

A graduate of the University of Toronto, before attending law school at Osgoode Hall, Ranney Hintsa was employed as a licensed stockbroker, and as a information systems analyst. Prior to being called to the Bar, she worked for Crown Law Office - Criminal, where she ultimately specialized in the design and development of litigation case management systems for major criminal cases. A sole practitioner since 2004, Ms. Hintsa first practiced in Toronto, where she had lived for thirty years. In 2006, she opened her practice in Guelph, and now serves Guelph, Wellington County, Waterloo Region, Milton, and other jurisdictions in southwestern Ontario. She is a dedicated community member and mother. A passionate, critical thinker, Ms. Hintsa takes a creative, multi-disciplinary approach to the representation of those charged with criminal offences, and her practice has a strong focus on the intersection of mental and the criminal justice system. Ms. Hintsa is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada, and the Wellington Law Association. She is a former member of the Executive for the Criminal Lawyers' Association, as well as the Association's Mental Health, Membership and Accessibility sub-committees. She is a past member of the Human Services and Justice Coordinating Committee (Regional).

Read more about Ranney Hintsa

Melissa McMillan is a Developmental Justice Case Manager with Surrey Place and the Toronto Downtown East Justice Centre. She is experienced in working with individuals with developmental disabilities, as well as mental health and addictions. She uses these skills in her role as a Developmental Justice Case Manager at the Downtown East Justice Centre. Here she works with individuals in court, helping them to build a goal focused plan unique to them, while providing them support in the community. Each individual plan is created to address the person’s unique criminogenic needs, with an overarching goal of reducing recidivism.

Read more about Melissa McMillan

Derek Pallandi has been licensed to practice medicine in Ontario as a psychiatrist since 2000 after he completed his Doctor of Medicine at McMaster University in 1995 and completed psychiatry residency training at the University of Toronto in 2000. Currently, he is employed as a contract psychiatrist at the Ontario Correctional Institute in Brampton and the Riverdale (Toronto), Keswick and Newmarket Probation and Parole offices, as well as a staff psychiatrist at the Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences in Whitby. Additionally, he maintains a private practice in psychiatry in civil, regulatory and criminal (forensic) matters. Between 2008 and 2020, he was an Investigating Coroner in the City of Toronto. He holds the rank of Lecturer in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto. His interests are in serious and persistent mental illness and the recovery from it; correctional mental health; addictions, trauma and the evaluation and management of sexual and violent offenders. In 2022, he was an invited member of an expert panel on deaths in custody, for the Ontario Office of the Chief Coroner. The panel authored “An Obligation to Prevent” which was released by the Chief Coroner of Ontario in January, 2023.

Read more about Derek Pallandi

1:30pm

Sunday, June 4

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