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NCJ Number: NCJ 224316     Find in a Library
Title: Mental Health Courts: A Primer for Policymakers and Practitioners
  Document URL: PDF 
Corporate Author: Council of State Governments Justice Ctr
United States of America
Date Published: 2008
Page Count: 34
  Annotation: This guide addresses commonly asked questions about mental health courts, which have been established to address the root causes of the problem behaviors and improve the outcomes for the large number of individuals with mental illnesses involved in the criminal justice system.
Abstract: The mental health court substitutes a problem solving model for traditional criminal court processing. Those coming before the court are identified through mental health screening and assessments. They voluntarily participate in a judicially supervised treatment plan developed jointly by a team of court staff and mental health professionals. Incentives reward adherence to the treatment plan or other court conditions. Noncompliance may be sanctioned, and success or “graduation” is defined according to predetermined criteria. Although there is significant variety among mental health courts, they share several core characteristics. This guide describes one mental health court in action that reflects some of the essential elements of mental health courts. In order to address the mistaken notion that mental health courts are patterned after drug courts, the guide notes the differences. Whereas drug courts deal with those who have violated drug laws and have one type of disorder (drug addiction), mental illness is not a violation of the law and involves a variety of disorders that require distinctive treatment regimens. Other issues addressed in this guide are mental health courts for juveniles, research findings on mental health courts, issues that should be considered when planning or designing a mental health court, and the resources that can help communities develop mental health courts. 34 notes
Main Term(s): Court procedures
Index Term(s): Mentally ill offenders ; Offender mental health services ; BJA grant-related documents ; Mental Health Courts
Sponsoring Agency: Bureau of Justice Assistance
US Dept of Justice
Office of Justice Programs
United States of America
Grant Number: 2006-MO-BX-K348
Sale Source: Council of State Governments Justice Ctr
100 Wall Street
20th Floor
New York, NY 10005
United States of America
Type: Issue Overview
Country: United States of America
Language: English
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