Mental health courts partner key justice system officials with leaders in the mental health system to divert offenders with severe mental illness into a judicially supervised program and includes community-based treatment.
The number of defendants with serious untreated mental illnesses in the criminal justice system has drastically increased in recent years, but traditional court processes prove to be unsuccessful in changing the outcomes for many of these defendants.
Mental health courts provide a team of court staff and mental health professionals that work together to screen and assess defendants, develop treatment plans and supervise offenders. These courts offer defendants the opportunity to avoid incarceration by complying with community supervision and mandated treatment.
current as of August 2013