The Herald recently covered the tragic death of a mentally ill inmate in the state prison system, and State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle’s oversight of the investigation. Having worked closely with the state attorney, it is important to provide context about her passion and efforts for the most disadvantaged and victimized in society, including the mentally ill.
Fernandez Rundle has been recognized widely for her novel programs to help victims of domestic violence, abused children, and the mentally ill. Her initiative against human trafficking has served as a model adopted by countless other governmental agencies throughout the United States.
She has developed exceptional relationships with organizations including Kristi House, Camillus House, and the Jackson Health System. She has worked with local and state law enforcement to improve the handling of those with severe mental illness who have found themselves in the penal system, working closely with Judge Steve Leifman on his highly regarded diversion program for those with mental illness.
Her role as state attorney is a complex and difficult one, and Miami-Dade is fortunate to have someone with her personal devotion to the underserved.
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Charles B. Nemeroff,