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The Honorable Meagan Bilik-DeFazio of the Court of Common Pleas of Westmoreland County received the Mental Health of America Southwestern Pennsylvania Chapter’s Community Advocacy Award on April 27th.
Judge Bilik DeFazio has been committed to supporting individuals who become involved in the criminal justice system and in trying to divert individuals who have serious mental health issues rather than incarcerating them. Mental health of America of Southwestern Pennsylvania CEO Laurie Barnett Levine has said, “We know there are more people in prisons and jails who have mental illness than not, and so any time that we can assist someone in seeking treatment that will keep them out of the prison population is a victory.”
Judge Bilik-DeFazio and her partner judge, President Judge Christopher Feliciani established and preside over Westmoreland County’s Adult Drug Treatment Court. The Treatment Court serves high-risk participants diagnosed with substance use and mental health disorders.
We congratulate Judge Bilik-DeFazio on receiving her well-earned recognition, and President Judge Feliciani and Judge Bilik-DeFazio for their committed service to the population of those in the criminal justice system with mental health needs.
Photo L-R: Mental health of America of Southwestern Pennsylvania CEO Laurie Barnett Levine, Judge Bilik-DeFazio