March 21, 2022 @ 10:00 am – 11:00 am
Virtual Event
SMI Adviser/NRI | Contact: Kristin Neylon at NRI

Overcoming Barriers and Recognizing the Unique Value of Including Peer Support Specialists with Prior Justice Involvement in Recovery

Join SMI Adviser Monday, March 21st from 12:00 to 1:00 Eastern for an SMI Adviser/NRI webinar on Recognizing and Overcoming Barriers for Peer Support Specialists with a History of Criminal Justice Involvement.

Peer support specialists are critical to the behavioral health workforce and have significant positive impacts on recovery.  However, many individuals with lived experience are excluded from the behavioral health workforce due to having prior arrests or criminal justice involvement.  This webinar brings together individuals with lived experience of criminal justice system involvement and state leaders who have hired these individuals to discuss the significant positive impact these peers can have on recovery, the value they bring to the behavioral health workforce, and how they work to affect change in their states to increase acceptance.

Participants will learn about the special skills that peers with prior arrests bring to the recovery process, and how their experience in the criminal justice system allows them to be more relatable to others seeking help who are themselves engaged with the criminal justice system and dealing with the fallout of an arrest.  Strategies to overcome stigma and policy challenges will be discussed, with real-world examples from Colorado, Georgia, Massachusetts, and other states provided.

Presenting on the webinar are:

  • Amy Brinkley, CRS/CHW, CAPRCII: Recovery Support Systems Coordinator, NASMHPD
  • Tony Sanchez: Faces and Voices of Recovery
  • Justin Volpe: Peer Support Specialist, NASMHPD
  • Debra Pinals, MD: Director of Behavioral Health and Forensic Programs, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services

Register here:

Please also Save the Date for Thursday, May 12th for the SMI Adviser/NRI webinar on Enhancing Financing for Peer Support Specialists!  Please contact Kristin Neylon at NRI with any questions about these two events (

Funding for SMI Adviser was made possible by Grant No. SM080818 from SAMHSA of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by SAMHSA/HHS, or the U.S. Government.  

Start typing and press Enter to search