PHSJCC Specialized Courts Forum

On March 9 and 10, 2021, the P-HSJCC hosted a two-day virtual forum to share and discuss promising practices and ways to improve specialized court support for individuals with mental health, addictions and other complex needs who are involved with the criminal justice system. The forum was coordinated in partnership with the Ministry of the Attorney General.

The forum convened stakeholders from across the human services and justice sectors who work in specialized courts, including representation from mental health and addictions community organizations, therapeutic and drug treatment courts, crowns, judges, duty council, court support and partner ministries.  Several persons with lived experience were invited as presenters and guests. The forum featured: 

Special opening and closing ceremonies by Elder Little Brown Bear 

Special Guests:  

  • David Corbett, Deputy Attorney General of Ontario (Day 1)
  • Hon. Lisa Maisonneuve, Chief Justice of Ontario Court of Justice (Day 2)
  • Susan Kyle, Assistant Deputy Attorney General of Ontario (Day 2)

Keynote Presentations:  

  • Justice Kofi Barnes, Co-Founder of Canada’s First Drug Treatment Court, Superior Court of Justice (Day 1)  
  • Nikoleta Curcin, Lived Experience of Toronto Drug Treatment Court. (Day 1) 
  • Hon. Pamela Williams, Chief Judge of the Provincial and Family Courts of Nova Scotia (Day 2)

Panel Discussions:   

  • Judges Panel: Sharing best practices (Day 1)
  • Exploring emerging issues in specialized courts (Day 2)
  • Shifting to virtual courts during COVID-19 (Day 2)


  • A presentation of mental health and drug treatment court reports (Day 1)
    • Candace Vena, Project Manager, HSJCC Secretariat  
    • Jean Hopkins, Policy Analyst, Lead on Addictions and Complex Care, CMHA Ontario

Specialized Courts Forum Graphic Recordings

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