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Aligning Health and Safety

Aligning Health and Safety helps states work collaboratively with communities to build local capacity to reduce the number of people with behavioral health needs in local criminal justice systems. This improves health, makes communities safer, and supports wiser investments.

Across the country, communities seek solutions that improve outcomes for people with behavioral health needs and communities and reduce reliance on law enforcement, jails, and emergency departments.

State policymakers in all three branches are central to accelerating progress at the local level. They can

  • Unlock a variety of resources and supports for communities to appropriately divert, treat, and support people with behavioral health needs, and
  • Amplify lessons learned across the state, allowing local efforts to scale up. 

By aligning priorities, plans, and funding across systems, states can help communities break cycles of incarceration, hospitalization, and housing instability for people with behavioral health needs. The result is healthier people and safer communities.

The CSG Justice Center helps states harness local knowledge to protect public safety and improve individual health.

The CSG Justice Center leverages decades of experience bringing people together, providing expert assistance, and developing tailored state policy recommendations to help communities meet their public health and safety goals.

Collectively, this work—which includes varying levels of technical assistance in multiple states—is called Aligning Health and Safety.

Visit Program Highlights and Key Resources to learn more.


Key Staff

Hallie Fader-Towe

Deputy Division Director, Behavioral Health

Hallie Fader-Towe works with local and state policymakers to craft policies, processes, and programs that will work best for their jurisdictions. In her positions with the CSG Justice Center, she has worked with jurisdictions around the country on collaborative, data-driven planning and implementation efforts to address criminal justice functions from initial detention through reentry, including a focus on people with mental illnesses.

She has also managed the development of training materials on mental health courts and on judicial responses to the prevalence of individuals with mental illnesses involved with the criminal justice system. She has written on dispute systems design for state trial courts, pretrial responses to people with mental illnesses, information sharing between criminal justice and mental health systems, and mental health court design and implementation. Before joining the CSG Justice Center, she was a management consultant with McKinsey & Company in New York. Hallie received a BA from Brown University and a JD from Harvard Law School.

Charles Francis

Deputy Program Director, Behavioral Health

Charles Francis oversees work at the intersection of housing, criminal justice, and behavioral health. He focuses on strategies for state and local partners to increase access to and availability of housing to reduce justice system involvement and facilitate successful reentry, as well as effective law enforcement and community responses to homelessness. 

Previously, Charley was assistant director of Leased Housing at Rhode Island Housing and director of Policy for the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development. At the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, he played a lead role in implementing the Rental Assistance Demonstration program. Charley holds an MPP from the Heller School for Social Policy at Brandeis University and a BA from Hamilton College. 

Amy Button

Project Manager, Behavioral Health 

Amy Button supports local and state policymakers and other community stakeholders to develop and implement data-driven policies focused on improving outcomes for people with behavioral health needs who are in the criminal justice system.

Before joining the CSG Justice Center, Amy led community engagement in New York State for a National Institute on Drug Abuse-funded implementation research project studying community-led, data-driven strategies to reduce opioid overdose deaths. She has worked in local and state government and health care systems to improve practice, data use, and outcomes for populations with high service utilization and complex clinical and social needs. Amy has a BA in literature from Hartwick College and an MPA from Marist College.

Katie Holihen

Senior Policy Analyst, Behavioral Health

Katie Holihen works to advance locally driven state policymaking at the intersection of criminal justice, behavioral health, and housing. Prior to joining the CSG Justice Center, Katie was a grant analyst at the Cook County Public Defender’s Office in Chicago, where she worked with cross-sector partners to launch holistic defense and data analytics programs.

She also led curriculum development for national law enforcement training initiatives in procedural justice and cultural humility at the Center for Public Safety and Justice at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Katie has a BA in history and political science from Marquette University and an MSW from Jane Addams College of Social Work at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Marilyn Leake

Senior Policy Analyst, Behavioral Health

Marilyn Leake works on county-based initiatives focused on improving outcomes for people in the criminal justice system who have behavioral health disorders. Prior to joining the CSG Justice Center, Marilyn served as the coordinator for the mental health and drug court programs in Prince George’s County, Maryland.

In that role, she collaborated closely with local stakeholders throughout the criminal justice and behavioral health systems on diversion and other tactics to improve outcomes for people in the justice system with behavioral health disorders. She also worked on initiatives to standardize data collection and measurement strategies for treatment courts in Maryland. Marilyn holds a BS from Appalachian State University and an MSW from the University of Maryland.

Ryan Carlino

Senior Policy Analyst, Behavioral Health

Ryan Carlino provides technical assistance and policy guidance to counties participating in the States Supporting Familiar Faces initiative. Before joining the CSG Justice Center, Ryan worked at the University of Chicago Crime Lab where he supported government agencies in designing, testing, and scaling programs and policies that address criminal justice and behavioral health system challenges.

Prior to that, Ryan worked as a research analyst with the Travis County Juvenile Probation Department. In 2020, Ryan was appointed as a commissioner on the inaugural City of Austin Community Police Review Commission, which provides civilian oversight of police activities in Austin. Ryan earned a BA in anthropology from Grinnell College and an MPP from the University of Texas.