Conference Agenda

8:00 AM - 8:45 AMCheck-In & Registration
8:45 AM - 9:00 AMWelcome, Review Agenda and Packets, Housekeeping Announcements and Overview of Stepping Up Ohio Initiative and Goals
  • Justice Evelyn Lundberg Stratton, Retired, Stepping Up Project Director
  • Rick Kellar, President, Peg’s Foundation
9:00 AM - 10:00 AMOpening Plenary -- Making Jail the Last Resort
  • Pete Earley, Journalist and Mental Health Advocate
10:00 AM - 10:15 AMBreak
10:15 AM - 11:00 AMCrisis Centers
  • David Covington, LPC, MBA, CEO and President, RI International
11:00 AM - 12:00 PMShoring Up the Continuum of Care: The Adam Amanda Mental Health Rehabilitation Center
  • Dustin McKee, Director of Policy, NAMI Ohio
  • Earl Cecil, Executive Director, Athens, Hocking, Vinton ADAMHS Board
12:00 PM - 1:00 PMLunch
1:00 PM - 2:30 PMOhio Housing Initiatives: Implementing CSG Strategies in Ohio
  • Sally Luken, President, Luken Solutions
  • Elizabeth Buck, Deputy Program Director, Behavioral Health, The Council of State Governments Justice Center
2:30 PM - 2:45 PMBreak
2:45 PM - 3:45 PMSuccess at the Local Level: County Panel
Franklin County: Beyond CIT to CID - Crisis Intervention and Diversion in Franklin County
  • Michael Daniels, Justice Policy Coordinator, Department of Homeland Security and Justice Programs
  • Dallas Baldwin, Franklin County Sheriff
  • Earl Smith, Franklin County Sheriff Chief Deputy
  • Captain James K. Simmons
  • Lieutenant Michael A. D’Errico
  • Sergeant Paul S. Blacker
Mahoning County: IROCS -- Incarceration to Release -- Offender Coordinated Services
  • David Stillwagon, CEO, Community Corrections Association
  • Michael O'Brien, Social Worker/ Case Manager, Catholic Charities’ Regional Agency
  • Jerry Green, Mahoning County Sheriff


  • Justice Evelyn Lundberg Stratton, Retired, Stepping Up Project Director
3:45 PM - 4:00 PMWrap up, Challenge to Counties


Justice Evelyn Lundberg Stratton, Retired
Justice Evelyn Lundberg Stratton, RetiredStepping Up Project Director

Eve is of counsel in the Vorys Columbus office. Prior to joining Vorys, she served for 16 years as a justice on the Supreme Court of Ohio and for seven years as a trial judge in the Court of Common Pleas. She counsels clients on variety of practice areas, including appellate issues, litigation and health care. Eve is also a dedicated public servant. She is the Project Director for the Ohio chapter of the Stepping Up Initiative, a national movement aimed at keeping those with mental illness from cycling through the jail system. She founded this initiative in Ohio and remains a driving force behind its continuing expansion throughout the state. While serving on the Ohio Supreme Court, she formed and chaired the Supreme Court of Ohio Advisory Committee on Mental Illness & the Courts, which since its formation in 2001 has helped establish 38 mental health courts, recommended changes to Medicaid and advocated for a new Juvenile Competency Statute. Currently, she serves with Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine as co-chair of the Attorney General's Task Force on Criminal Justice and Mental Illness. Eve has also advocated for the development of veterans’ courts, which assist returning veterans with post traumatic stress and other issues that may lead them to criminal activity. In addition, she currently serves as president of the Ohio Military and Veterans Legal Assistance Program a non-profit which connects veterans and military families to a statewide system of referrals to pro bono lawyers, bar associations, legal aid and law school clinics. Eve is a member of the American, Ohio and Columbus Bar Associations. She is also member of the Ohio and Columbus Bar Foundations and Women Lawyers of Franklin County. Eve received her J.D. from The Ohio State University Michael E. Moritz College of Law. She earned her B.A. and an Honorary Doctor of Laws from the University of Akron. Eve also has an Honorary Doctor of Laws from Capital University Law School and an Honorary Doctorate of Community Leadership from Franklin University.

Rick KellarPresident, Peg’s Foundation
Pete EarleyJournalist and Mental Health Advocate

Pete Earley is best-known for his nonfiction book, CRAZY: A Father's Search Through America's Mental Health Madness, which was one of two finalists for the 2007 Pulitzer Prize. His book describes his struggle to help his adult son after he develops a severe mental illness and is arrested. Earley spent nine months inside the Miami Dade County jail as a reporter following prisoners with serious mental illnesses through the criminal justice system to see what happened to them. His book won awards from the American Psychiatric Association, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, Mental Health America, and prompted CNN to name him one of nation’s top “Mental Wellness Warriors.”

He currently serves as the only “parent” member of the Interdepartmental Serious Mental Illness and Serious Emotional Disturbance Committee, which includes a total of 14 non-federal members. It was created by Congress in 2016 to recommend how the nation’s eight federal agencies that administer more than a hundred mental health programs can better deliver services.

A former Washington Post reporter, Earley has appeared five times before the U.S. Congress to testify about the need for mental health reform, has spoken in 48 states and addressed legislators in four foreign countries. He serves on the board of the Corporation for Supportive Housing, which finances projects to eliminate homelessness. The Chief Justice of the Va. Supreme Court appointed him to a task force that recommended changes to the state's involuntary commitment laws after a horrific shooting on the campus of Virginia Tech University. He writes regularly for USA TODAY and the Washington Post about mental health issues and also writes a weekly blog at that often is cited by the media.

He is the author of eleven nonfiction books and five novels, including four New York Times bestsellers. His book Family of Spies: Inside the John Walker Spy Ring, was a five hour miniseries shown on CBS television. For his book, The Hot House: Life Inside Leavenworth Prison, Earley spent a full year as a reporter inside a maximum-security prison.

In a Washingtonian Magazine cover story entitled, Top Journalists: Washington's Media Elite, Earley was described as one of a handful of journalists in America who "have the power to introduce new ideas and give
them currency."

David CovingtonLPC, MBA, CEO and President, RI International

David Covington, LPC, MBA is CEO & President of Recovery Innovations, Inc. (d/b/a RI International). He is also a partner in Behavioral Health Link, co-founder of CrisisTech 360 and leads the international initiatives “Zero Suicide,” “Crisis Now” and “Peer 2.0.” A licensed professional counselor, Mr. Covington received an MBA from Kennesaw State and an MS from the University of Memphis. He previously served as Vice President at Magellan Health responsible for the executive and clinical operations of the $750 million Arizona contract. He is a member of the DHHS Interdepartmental Serious Mental Illness Coordinating Committee (ISMICC) established in 2017 in accordance with the 21st Century Cures Act to report to Congress on advances in behavioral health.

A recognized health care innovations entrepreneur, global speaker and blogger, Mr. Covington is a two-time national winner of the Council of State Governments Innovations Award. He also competed as a finalist in Harvard’s Innovations in American Government in 2009 for the Georgia Crisis & Access Line, and the program was featured in Business Week magazine. Mr. Covington is the President-Elect of the American Association of Suicidology and has served on the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention Executive Committee since 2010. He is also the Chair of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline SAMHSA Steering Committee. He has served on numerous committees and task forces on clinical care and crisis services, including the National Council for Behavioral Health Board of Directors.

Dustin McKeeDirector of Policy, NAMI Ohio

Dustin McKee is the Director of Policy for the National Alliance on Mental Illness of Ohio.  In this position, he is responsible for the organizations public policy advocacy at the local, state and congressional levels.

Dustin has more than a decade of experience as an advocate for people from marginalized populations.  Prior to working for NAMI of Ohio, he served in policy advocacy positions focused on children and people with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities.  Dustin’s experience as a direct care worker for children and adults with various disabilities, and his personal and family experiences have also helped him develop a nuanced and holistic perspective on policy and advocacy issues impacting people with mental illness and other disabilities.

Dustin has a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Earlham College and a Masters of Social Work from Ohio University.  Prior to obtaining his MSW, Dustin provided direct supports to individuals with serious mental illness in a community support program in rural Indiana.

Earl CecilExecutive Director, Athens, Hocking, Vinton ADAMHS Board

Earl Cecil has been the Executive Director of the Athens-Hocking-Vinton Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services Board since October 2000. He has previous held the positions of Chief Finance Officer and Deputy Director since his employment in 1989. As director of the board, Earl is responsible for assessing community needs, contracting with private entities and programs for mental health and addiction services, and service evaluation as well as supervising an office of 8 and overseeing a budget in excess of $10 million. A lifelong resident of Vinton County, he is a graduate of Ohio State University with a BSBA in accounting and previously worked in industry and as a certified public accountant.

Sally LukenPresident, Luken Solutions

Sally Luken, President of Luken Solutions, works with organizations and governments to solve social problems in the intersection of housing, homelessness, behavioral health and criminal justice. Luken Solutions’ client base and projects cross these disciplines.  Sally is an approved federal Housing and Urban Development (HUD) technical assistance (TA) provider working with 16 homeless Continuums of Care in Georgia, Missouri and Mississippi under a contract with The Cloudburst Group. With Peg Foundation’s support, Sally is the housing TA provider for Stepping Up Ohio.  In this role, she works with the Council of State Governments’ Justice Center to assist six Ohio counties develop local strategies to house and reduce jail days for people with mental health disorders.  The Ohio Chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI-Ohio) engages Sally for its Fulfilling the Promise campaign.  Sally was instrumental in the development of the campaign’s Adam-Amanda Mental Health Rehabilitation Center and is now furthering over 80 new units of housing opportunities in Appalachia Ohio.  Prior to launching her own consulting firm, Sally was the state Director in Ohio for CSH, a national nonprofit that invests in supportive housing.  Under her leadership, capacity to develop permanent supportive housing grew five-fold and the research-based, Returning Home Ohio project was launched. Sally is the recipient of the Governor’s Award for Excellence in Affordable Housing.  She holds a bachelor degree in Social Work and a Master in Public Policy and Nonprofit Management from The Ohio State University.

Elizabeth BuckDeputy Program Director, Behavioral Health, The Council of State Governments Justice Center

Liz Buck oversees and executes the CSG Justice Center's projects to help jurisdictions address housing needs among criminal justice-involved individuals. Prior to the CSG Justice Center, Liz was a program manager at the Corporation for Supportive Housing (CSH), where she expanded CSH’s health and housing portfolio, including leading a team to secure funding under Health Resource Service Administration (HRSA) to link people experiencing homelessness to primary and behavioral health care. Liz also worked at the Camden Coalition of Healthcare Providers, where she developed local and statewide support for a Housing First project for high utilizers of the healthcare system. She earned her BA at Union College and her MPA at the NYU Wagner Graduate School of Public Service.

Michael DanielsJustice Policy Coordinator, Department of Homeland Security and Justice Programs

Michael Daniels comes to his current career in public service and policy management with an extensive background in science, business, and social justice. He joined the staff of Franklin County Commissioner Marilyn Brown in March of 2012, and in June of 2017 became the County’s Justice Policy Coordinator.

Michael is passionate in the arena of social justice for all people. He is fully committed to issues of human rights, actively advocating and advancing policies of fully-inclusive equality on behalf of women's rights, diversity and inclusion for all people, and open and accessible access to education, housing, and government. He is a vocal advocate for social justice and progressive issues, and a voice in the movements for GLBT and marriage equality, for women's reproductive and educational freedoms, for the reintegration into society's fabric for ex-offenders, and for the protection of workers’ safety and right to organize.

He has presented at TEDx Marion Correctional, and was a recipient of the inaugural Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections Impact Award in 2013. He is the point person for Franklin County’s Council of State Governments Justice Center “Stepping Up” initiative and for Franklin County’s commitment to the White House’s “Data-Driven Justice” initiative.

Dallas BaldwinFranklin County Sheriff

Sheriff Dallas Baldwin is a retired Lieutenant with the Columbus Division of Police after serving for 31 years; both on the force, and as a reserve officer. As a patrol officer, Sheriff Baldwin worked throughout the city of Columbus - with particular focus on the Ohio State University campus area, west side, and the short east. He also served as a detective on the Robbery Squad, and as a member of the SWAT team.

In 1990, he was promoted to the rank of Sergeant, working patrol, SWAT, and the Narcotics Unit. In 1995, Sheriff Baldwin was promoted to Lieutenant, and assigned to the west side. In addition, he worked with the Strategic Response Bureau and served on the Ethics Board.

Sheriff Baldwin and his wife Barb have been married for over 40 years, after meeting in high school. They have a son who is currently serving in the Columbus Division of Police.

Earl SmithFranklin County Sheriff Chief Deputy

Chief Deputy Earl Smith began his career with the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office in August 1981. Chief Deputy Smith served for 32 years at the Sheriff’s Office where he held every rank from Deputy to Major. During his time at the Sheriff’s Office he has earned numerous awards and commendations and has helped lead the Sheriff’s Office through the implementation of many significant reforms in the areas of Communications and Special Operations. In January of 2013, Chief Deputy Smith retired from the Sheriff’s Office and began working for the United States Marshal’s Service until his appointment as Chief Deputy by Sheriff Baldwin in January 2017. Chief Deputy Smith is a graduate of the FBI National Academy, Session 188.

Captain James K. Simmons
Lieutenant Michael A. D’Errico
Sergeant Paul S. Blacker

Sergeant Scott Blacker has been serving the citizens of Franklin County as a Deputy Sheriff for the past 24 years. He has worked assignments within corrections, patrol, the detective bureau, the training academy, community relations, field training and now, the Community Intervention and Diversion Unit. Sgt. Blacker received his B.A. in Criminal Justice Administration and he is currently completing his second undergraduate degree in Psychology as well as his Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice Administration.

David StillwagonCEO, Community Corrections Association

David J. Stillwagon is the C.E.O. of Community Corrections Association, Inc. (CCA), located in Youngstown, Ohio. CCA is a not-for-profit organization that operates halfway houses, a community-based correctional facility, day reporting program, and a G.P.S. monitoring house arrest program licensed by the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections, the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services and the Federal Bureau of Prisons. CCA is also the probation department for Mahoning County, providing pre-sentence investigations for the Common Pleas Courts.

Aside from the Mahoning County Stepping-Up Committee, David is also involved with the local Honor and Drug Court Advisory Committees, the Ohio Community Corrections Association, International Community Corrections Association, and the Ohio Chief Probation Officers Association. David has his B.A. from Kent State University in justice studies and his M.B.A. from Youngstown State University. Furthermore, he is active in his local community, serving on several boards including the Rotary Club of Youngstown. David resides in Boardman, Ohio with his wife and daughter.

Michael O'BrienSocial Worker/ Case Manager, Catholic Charities’ Regional Agency

Michael J. O’Brien, LSW has worked at Catholic Charities Regional Agency in Youngstown for 13 years. Mike earned his Bachelor of Social Work from Youngstown State University in 2005. Mike is the Case Manager and Linkage contact for Mahoning County Mental Health and Recovery Board Prison Re-entry Program. He is also Case Manager and Program Coordinator for the Mahoning County Mental Health and Board IROCS (Incarceration to Release-Offender Coordinated Services) Program for the Mahoning County Justice Center and Community Corrections Association

Jerry GreenMahoning County Sheriff

Sheriff Jerry Greene is a proud product of the Mahoning Valley, born and raised in Boardman, Ohio. With his wife and daughters living in this great community, he has a personal stake in keeping Mahoning County safe in the present and the future.

He has worked for the Sheriff’s Office and has learned its processes from the ground level up to the office of Sheriff. The combination of his bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, training at the FBI National Academy and most importantly his twenty two years working with the Sheriff’s Office makes him the candidate who is most qualified to fill the office of Mahoning County Sheriff. He is certified by the Ohio Peace Officers Training Association in Corrections and is a member of the National Sheriff’s Association and FBI National Academy Association.