The PBS documentary “The Definition of Insanity” is made available for viewing through CHQ Assembly by Norm Ornstein and features Miami-Dade Judge Steve Leifman. Ornstein and Leifman, joined by Thomas Insel, former director of the National Institute of Mental Health, discussed the Miami-Dade Criminal Mental Health Project as part of a 2021 Chautauqua Lecture Series program.
The Miami-Dade Criminal Mental Health Project (CMHP) comes to life in this documentary, following a team of dedicated public servants working through the courts to steer people with mental illness — as their court cases hang in the balance — on a path from incarceration to recovery.
An exploration of the Miami-Dade Criminal Mental Health Project (CMHP) — a novel approach to solving the mental health crisis that could be a model for America. Shocked by how people with mental illness were treated in Miami-Dade’s jails, Judge Steve Leifman works with a team of dedicated public servants, as well as former adversaries in the criminal justice system, to help people with mental illness navigate from lives of tragedy to possibility. The documentary follows a diverse group of people committed to the common goal of helping people with mental illness who enter through the courthouse doors. The film reveals a humane criminal justice approach to mental illness that is orchestrated from the court outwards into the community. From court dates to group therapy, the film follows Miami’s community-based experiment to solving the mental health crisis, where incarceration becomes the last resort and everyone from the police to prosecutors works together to support the notion that “recovery is possible.”
A production of Found Object, LLC, in association with WETA Washington, D.C. Directed and produced by Gabriel London, and produced and written by Charlie Sadoff. The film is edited by Nick Clark and narrated by Rob Reiner. The Associate Producer is Eddie Del Carmen with music by Tony Morales. Dalton Delan and John F. Wilson are the WETA Executive Producers.
About Chautauqua Institution: Chautauqua Institution is a community on the shores of Chautauqua Lake in southwestern New York state that comes alive each summer with a unique mix of fine and performing arts, lectures, interfaith worship and programs, and recreational activities. As a community, we celebrate, encourage and study the arts and treat them as integral to all of learning, and we convene the critical conversations of the day to advance understanding through civil dialogue. CHQ Assembly is the online expression of Chautauqua Institution's mission.