Agenda:Alexandria, a non-partisan, non-profit organization which began in 1998, sponsors eight dinner meetings a year with presentations on topics of interest to Alexandrians. 
Membership is only $35 a year and open to anyone, whether or not you live or work in Alexandria. 


Topics are wide-ranging and past topics have included such issues as transportation, education, the arts, public safety, history and preservation, public health, the City budget, the waterfront, the environment and aging in Alexandria.


Mental Illness in the Justice System

24, 2014


People with Mental Illnesses in the Justice System: Treatment and Re-Entry

On any given day, Virginia jails house more people with mental illnesses than do Virginia’s psychiatric hospitals. Here in Alexandria it is estimated that at least a quarter of those inside the jail have a mental illness, and upwards of 70% have a substance abuse problem. 

In Alexandria we have taken some steps, including creating a special unit at the Adult Detention Center dedicated to those with serious mental illness and a special unit for those with substance use disorders.  Many of our first responders have received  special training in CIT (Crisis Intervention Team) to learn how to respond to people with a mental health or substance abuse problem. The Community Services Board, Courts, Probation and Parole, Public Defenders Office and the Commonwealth Attorney's Office all have worked together to insure fair and rehabilitative treatment inside the jail and safe re-entry into the world outside.  Is it working?  What still needs to be done?




Liz Wixson
Liz Wixson, LCSW
Director of Clinical and Emergency Services
Liz Wixson is the Director of Clinical and Emergency Services at the Alexandria Community Services Board.  In this role, she is responsible for overseeing Alexandria's outpatient mental health and substance abuse programming, including Psychiatry, Jail Services, Emergency Services, Detox, Opioid Treatment, Outpatient Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services, and the coordination of Alexandria's Criminal Justice/Behavioral Health Collaborative.  Over the last few years, Ms. Wixson has helped spearhead Alexandria's efforts to divert persons with mental illness away from the criminal justice system, including the development of Alexandria's CIT program and CORE (Collaboration for Recovery and Re Entry), a partnership between the Alexandria CSB and the Office of Probation and Parole aimed at helping mentally ill offenders live healthy and law abiding lives in the community.  Ms. Wixson is a graduate of Providence College and received her Masters of Social Work from the University of Maryland.  Prior to her work at the Alexandria CSB, she worked for a behavioral health management and consulting firm.
Bill Rooney
Bill Rooney, LCSW
Bill Rooney, MSW is the supervisor of the Comprehensive Recovery Team (CRT) at the Department of Community and Human Services(DCHS). CRT includes adult mental health case management, CORE/mental health jail diversion, not guilty by reason of insanity (NGRI), state hospital discharge planning, and homeless outreach programs. Bill has assisted with implementing the CORE/mental health jail diversion and the CIT programs. He has worked for DCHS since 2006. 
Sergeant Courtney Ballantine
Sergeant Courtney Ballantine
Sergeant Courtney Ballantine is currently assigned to daylight patrol and supervises eight patrol officers. He has been with the city since 2000 and was promoted to the rank of Sergeant in 2007. Besides working in patrol Sergeant Ballantine has worked in the records section of the police department and has supervised the school resource officers. In 2008 Sergeant Ballantine was asked to lead the police department in the implementation of the Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) for the City. Since then the Alexandria CIT program have had thirteen classes and trained over two hundred first responders in CIT skills.  Sergeant Ballantine has participated in the International Association Chiefs of Police (IACP) Building Safer Communities: Improving Police Response to Persons with Mental Illness Policy summit 2009.  He also participated in Police Executive Research Forum (PERF) in "An Integrated Approach to De-Escalation and Minimizing Use of Force."
Lisa Stapleton
Lisa Stapleton
Lisa Stapleton is employed with the Virginia Department of Corrections, as the Chief Probation Officer for the City of Alexandria.  She has worked for the VADOC since 1992 and has been Chief since 2007.  Twelve Probation Officers employed in the Alexandria office supervise over 500 adults who have mostly been convicted of felony offenses.  Chief Stapleton assisted in the establishment of the CORE Program and is a graduate of the CIT Program. She is a member of Alexandria's Community Criminal Justice Board; Domestic Violence Intervention Project; Senior Policy Group on Gangs; and is the co-chair of the Alexandria Reentry Council.  She is a 1985 graduate of The American University in Washington, D.C.


Rosalind Bovey, Tim Ahern and Bill Cleveland



All programs are held at:

Holiday Inn Eisenhower Metro Center - 2460 Eisenhower Avenue

CLICK HERE for directions  

Reception at 6:15 p.m. (Cash Bar)

Buffet Dinner at 6:45 p.m.

$28 $33 with reservations made by 5:00 pm on the Friday prior to each meeting
$35 $40 for late reservations and walk-ins

Program only  7:15 p.m.
(free to members/$5 non-members)

 Presentations are followed by a question and answer session based on written questions from the audience. 

 Programs end promptly at 9 P.M.

Dinner reservations strongly encouraged. Seating is not guaranteed for walk-ins.  



Each month Comcast Communications broadcasts AGENDA:ALEXANDRIA programs at least twice on Channel 69.  A copy of programs is on file at the Charles Beatley Library. 


For information or reservations, contact Executive Director Sherry Brown at 703-548-7089 or


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