What is a Mental Health Court?
Modeled after drug courts and developed in response to the over-representation of people with mental illnesses in the criminal justice system, mental health courts divert select defendants with mental illnesses into judicially supervised, community-based treatment. Currently, all mental health courts are voluntary. Defendants are invited to participate in the mental health court following a specialized screening and assessment, and they may choose to decline participation. For those who agree to the terms and conditions of community-based supervision, a team of court staff and mental health professionals works together to develop treatment plans and supervise participants in the community. (Council of State Governments, 2005).
The term mental health court is most often used to refer to a specialized docket for defendants with mental illnesses that provides:
Domingo S. Herraiz, Director, Bureau of Justice Assistance,
Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice
There are 13 Mental Health Courts in Oregon. Visit the following links for program examples.
Click a county to contact a MHC Coordinator
Curry County 541-469-3007