LaVerne Miller

Outside Pillars of the Supreme Court

This time of year brings me back to some of the most meaningful milestones in my professional career.  The last Wednesday and Friday of each July inevitably brings me back to sitting for the New York State Bar Examination.  It also brings me back to the intense pride that I felt graduating from law school… Read More


Sleeping french bulldog

I am sure that my officemates are growing tired of getting unsolicited updates on Honeybee. You see, Honeybee is my year old French Bulldog that I had to, at least temporarily leave behind in New York City when I relocated to Albany, New York last December.  Our separation has not been an easy one as… Read More


School books and blocks

The older I get, the more nostalgic I become about the people who made the greatest difference in my formative years. Mrs. Rosenberg was my fifth grade teacher and I owe much of my love of learning to her. My journey to Mrs. Rosenberg’s class was politically charged; I was part of New York City’s… Read More


Peer Core Competency Meeting

Over the past decade there has been increased interest in the roles that people with lived experience can play as peers in supporting the recovery of justice-involved adults diagnosed with mental illness and addiction.  Peer services encompass a range of activities and interactions between people that inspire hope for recovery, dispel myths about behavioral health… Read More


Quinn Memorial Building Entrance

I was so very unhappy with my previous office in the West Village of New York City. While a student at Stuyvesant High School in New York, I fell deeply in love with the West Village. Whether it was the diversity of the blocks that comprise the West Village; the outdoor cafes where we were… Read More


Daisy

Before I get started, I want readers to understand that this is not a story of defeat, but instead it is a mostly a story of victory after overcoming enormous odds.  I started to do this story anonymously but realized that I would only be perpetuating the shame often felt by trauma survivors and their… Read More


Parent Child

Sentencing laws on both the federal and state level have not only increased the numbers of individuals incarcerated in prisons and jails, they have resulted in an increase in the number of minor aged children impacted by the incarceration of a parent.  Many policymakers are increasingly focusing their attention on the impact that incarceration has upon… Read More


Cornfield

Since my employment at PRA, I have visited several states in the Midwest.  I have visited Idaho, Missouri and Oklahoma to name a few.  As a lifelong New Yorker, my perspective of my county was north to south as opposed to east to west.  The most that I knew about the Midwest was that during… Read More


American Flag

Negative media portrayals of veterans seem to be more common. Recent news headlines such as, “Police get help with vets who are ticking bombs” (USA Today, 1/26/12) and Dr. Phil’s recent show “From Heroes to Monsters” promote negative stereotypes of men and women who serve and are offensive and hurtful. As one veteran blogged on… Read More


Man and woman talking

Late last year SAMHSA issued a new definition of recovery and support services.  This definition includes peers with lived experience in the areas of mental health and substance use.  One of the unintended consequences of adopting this definition was to reopen the debate about who is a peer and what constitutes peer support in both… Read More