Aug 14, 2013

ABANow: "Mental illness unfairly attributed as cause for most gun violence incidents, says San Francisco public defender"

On August 9, Behavioral Health Court team member and Deputy Public Defender Jennifer Johnson participated in a panel discussion entitled “Lawyers, Guns and Money: Prohibitions, Restrictions, Guns in Schools, Civil Liability — Will These Strategies Prevent Gun Violence and Save Lives?”

"Coverage of high-profile shootings often inaccurately connect mental illness and gun violence, says Jennifer Johnson, deputy public defender for [the] Office of the Public Defender 
in San Francisco." (ABANow)
Speaking at the "Lawyers, Guns & Money" panel at the 2013 ABA Annual Meeting were (from left) Gene Hoffman of Calguns Foundation, San Francisco Police Chief Greg Suhr, Elizabeth Burke of Lawyers for a Safer America, and San Francisco deputy public defender Jennifer Johnson. (ABANow)

The event was sponsored by the American Bar Association Criminal Justice Section. The following is an excerpt from an article published on

Ms. Johnson "spoke about the role of mental illness in gun violence. Although she noted that people with mental illness do not have higher rates of gun violence than the general population, she suggested that well-funded mental health systems can help keep people with problems away from guns and other opportunities to do harm."

Click here to read the full article.

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