A true shift in the paradigm between criminal justice and mental health will embody an effective jail diversion system that fosters an ongoing and successful exchange of information among courts, criminal justice agencies, mental health professionals, government and non-government organizations to achieve a substantial positive change in the way individuals with mental illness are treated in our communities.


The leaders in criminal justice and mental health participating in this effort strive to end the criminalization of individuals with mental illness by supporting proven strategies that promote early intervention, access to effective treatments, a planned re-entry and the preservation of public safety.


Chairperson: Ralph Diaz, Acting Secretary, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR)

Acting Secretary Diaz began his career with the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation when it was only the Department of Corrections. He started in 1991 as a Correctional Officer at Wasco State Prison and later at Corcoran State Prison, where he promoted to Correctional Counselor in 1999. In 2000, Mr. Diaz promoted to Correctional Counselor Supervisor at the California Substance Abuse Treatment Facility & State Prison, where his success culminated in his appointment as Warden in 2013. In 2014, he was called to serve as Associate Director of the High Security Mission and, in 2015, promoted to Deputy Director of Facility Operations.  In April of 2016, Mr. Diaz was appointed by Governor Brown to the position of Undersecretary of Operations.  As he evolved as an executive and a leader, Undersecretary Diaz’s understanding of his role also transitioned. Initially, his understanding of his duties was entirely custodial: counting inmates, escorting, opening and closing doors. As time went by, he began to realize the potential of human nature to change and the catalyst effect that treatment and programs can have on the rehabilitation of a person. His own personal history growing up in a small town in the Central Valley under the guidance of his father, who was also in law enforcement, contributed to his unique perspective. Today, Mr. Diaz is proud to be a leader in the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation as it embraces its mission to rehabilitate the people entrusted to its care, understanding that this is key to the public safety of the citizens of the State of California and to the future of the state.

Tony Hobson, Director of Behavioral Health, Plumas County

Tony Hobson is the director of behavioral health at the Plumas County Department of Behavioral Health since 2018 and contributing faculty at Walden University since 2006. Prior, he was the behavioral health director of the Sutter-Yuba Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Services Department from 2014 to 2018. Hobson held several positions at the Butte County Department of Behavioral Health from 2010 to 2014 and from 2007 to 2008, including senior program manager, program manager and psychologist. He was a psychologist at the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation from 2008 to 2010 and served in the U.S. Navy from 1989 to 1993. Hobson earned a Doctor of Philosophy degree in clinical psychology from Walden University and a Master of Arts degree in multicultural counseling from San Diego State University. Mr. Hobson was appointed to CCJBH by Governor Jerry Brown in 2018. 

Matthew D. Garcia, Field Training Officer, Sacramento Police Department

Matthew Garcia has been with the Sacramento Police Department since 1996. Officer Garcia has served in various capacities during his 20-year career. As a member of the Problem Orientated Policing team he was responsible for finding long-term policing solutions using non-traditional policing methods. He has also served as a Bank Robbery Investigator working with the FBI to identify, investigate and arrest offenders. Officer Garcia is currently a Field Training Officer (FTO) assigned to North Command. As a Senior FTO, Corporal Garcia is responsible for the training and supervision of new Police Officers in the field. From 1987-2002 he served with the United States Air Force; from 1990-1991 as a Security Forces member, Mr. Garcia was deployed to Bahrain and Saudi Arabia in support of Desert Shield/Storm; from 1999-2002 he was assigned to the Security Forces Academy in San Antonio, Texas, where he was a Master Instructor. At the academy he taught and led a cadre of instructors in the training of Airman entering the Security Forces career field. Mr. Garcia has a Peace Officers Standard Training (P.O.S.T) Advanced Certification, a Master’s Degree in Public Administration and Leadership (MPA) from National University, and a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice from California State University, Sacramento. Mr. Garcia was appointed to COMIO by the Senate Rules Committee in 2016.

Stephanie Clendenin, Acting Director, California Department of State Hospitals.

Ms. Clendenin has served as Acting Director for the California Department of State Hospitals since September 2018. The California Department of State Hospitals is the largest forensic inpatient mental health hospital system in the nation, serving over 11,000 patients annually across five state hospitals, jail-based competency treatments programs, community-based restoration programs, and conditional release programs.  Previously, Ms. Clendenin was appointed as Chief Deputy Director of the California Department of State Hospitals (DSH) by Governor Brown in December 2014.  As Chief Deputy Director, she oversaw the operation of the five state hospitals responsible for providing inpatient mental health treatment for over 6000 patients daily.  Additionally, she oversaw DSH’s operating divisions including, clinical operations, forensic services, legal services, strategic planning, administrative services, and information technology. Previously, Ms. Clendenin, also served as the Chief Deputy Director for the California Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development (OSHPD).  She was appointed to this position by Governor Brown in June 2011.  She managed OSHPD’s operating divisions responsible for the building and financing of health facility infrastructure, the collection and analyses of healthcare data, and the development and expansion of healthcare professionals to serve and improve the delivery of healthcare, particularly in medically underserved communities in California.  Ms. Clendenin has over 28 years of experience with the State of California. Ms. Clendenin’s previous government experience includes positions with Cal-Fire, Department of Finance, the former Department of Health Services, and the Department of General Services.

Alfred A. Joshua MD, MBA, FAAEM, Former Chief Medical Officer

Dr. Joshua was selected in 2013 to lead the San Diego County Sheriff’s Medical Services Division as Chief Medical Officer to design and manage a medical system that provides comprehensive medical care for the inmate/patients who are housed at county jails across San Diego County. Prior to the Sheriff’s Department, Dr. Joshua, who is a board-certified Emergency Medicine physician, served as the Senior Medical Officer in Healthcare Reform at Tri-City Medical Center and as Medical Director for Volunteers of America, a non-profit organization that assists the homeless. Dr. Joshua has been designing an innovative managed care model for the county jails in order to meet the medical and financial challenges of Public Safety Realignment. Dr. Joshua earned his medical degree from the State University of New York, Syracuse where he was inducted into the Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society and holds a Master’s degree in Business Administration from UC Irvine where he was awarded the Top GPA Award for the Health Care Executive MBA Program Class of 2013. He completed a two-year hospital administrative fellowship at UC San Diego. He has worked clinically in the Emergency department at UC San Diego and at Tri-City Medical Center and currently practices clinically at the Veterans Affairs Emergency Department. He currently sits on the Board of Directors for San Diego Health Connect, a non for profit health information exchange to improve quality and coordination of patient care. Dr. Joshua was appointed to COMIO by Assembly Speaker Toni G. Atkins in 2015.

Jennifer Kent, Director, California Department of Health Care Services

Jennifer Kent has been the director of the California Department of Health Care Services since January 2015. Director Kent oversees a staff of 3,700 individuals at DHCS, which is responsible for the operation of Medi-Cal, the state’s Medicaid program. The department manages the spending of more than $90 billion annually in public funds that support the health of more than 12.5 million Californians. Kent had served as executive director of Local Health Plans of California since September 2013. Prior to that, she was principal with Health Management Associates Inc., from 2011 through 2013, where she advised clients on issues of health care reform. Her previous California government service included leadership roles in legislative, intergovernmental, financial and health policy areas with the Office of the Governor, the Health and Human Services Agency, and at DHCS. Kent earned a Bachelor of Arts in Government/History at Saint Mary’s College of California, and received a Master’s of Public Administration from the University of Southern California.

The Honorable Stephen V. Manley, Santa Clara Superior Court Judge

Stephen V. Manley is a Superior Court judge in Santa Clara County. He has served on the bench for over 25 years. He was a founder of the Drug Treatment Court in Santa Clara County as well as the Santa Clara County Mental Health Treatment Court. Judge Manley was appointed to COMIO by Chief Justice Ronald M. George of the California Supreme Court in 2010.

Mack Jenkins, Chief Probation Officer, San Diego County Probation Department

Mack Jenkins has been chief probation officer at the San Diego County Probation Department since 2007. He served in several positions at the Orange County Probation Department from 1977 to 2007, including division director, assistant director, supervisor and deputy probation counselor. Jenkins was an adjunct instructor of criminal justice at the Rancho Santiago Community College District from 1992 to 2007. He is a member of the National Association of Drug Court Professionals Board of Directors and the Judicial Council’s Task Force for Criminal Justice Collaboration on Mental Health Issues. Jenkins earned a Master of Science degree in criminal justice from California State University, Long Beach. Mr. Jenkins was appointed to COMIO by Governor Jerry Brown 2015.

Tracey Whitney, Deputy District Attorney, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office

In December 2017, the Attorney General Becerra appointed Tracey Whitney to the Council on Criminal Justice and Behavioral Health (CCJBH). Ms. Whitney is currently a Deputy District Attorney in the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office. She is a founding member of the DA’s Mental Health Advisory Board and the County’s Permanent Steering Committee. Prior to her nearly two decades in the DA’s office, Ms. Whitney served as a Deputy District Attorney in Orange County. Ms. Whitney also clerked for federal court judge Honorable Kim McLane Wardlaw. She began her career in private practice. Ms. Whitney received her Juris Doctor from USC Gould School of Law and her undergraduate degree from Duke University.

Jessica Cruz, Chief Executive Officer, NAMI California

Jessica Cruz is the Chief Executive Officer for the National Alliance on Mental Illness California, and has served in this role for nearly 8 years. Working with legislators, community members and government officials; she uses her passion to advocate for change in mental health legislations and systems across the state. Her desire to further NAMI California’s mission stems from lived experience of being a family member of someone with a mental illness. Jessica received her Masters of Public Administration with an emphasis in Health Services from the University of San Francisco, where she focused her studies on policies in health care. Her undergraduate studies in Mass Communication from California State University of Sacramento gave her the institutional knowledge to enhance her career in the public sector. She is a graduate of the USC Leadership Institute, Nonprofit Resource Center Executive Director Leadership Institute, and a member of the CalSWEC Board, California WET Advisory Board, Health Education Foundation Advisory Board, Sacramento Professional Women’s Association, the Nonprofit Resource Center, Associate Fundraising Professional, Capital Chapter and a past Board Secretary of the Sacramento Public Relations Association. Jessica also sits on the Council on Criminal Justice and Behavioral Health as a Governors appointee representing the Family and Consumer perspective.


Stephanie Welch
Executive Officer
Phone: (916) 324-7021

Monica Campos
Staff Services Manager III
Phone: (916) 322-8015

Catherine Hickinbotham
Health Program Specialist I
Phone:  (916) 319-9803

Sheron Wright
Associate Governmental Program Analyst
Phone: (916) 698-6310

Jean Connolly
Executive Assistant
Phone: (916) 323-6001
Fax: (916) 442-2637