Mental Health Court

Mental Health Court is a diversion program to target mental health treatment for individuals accused of a certain category of offenses and whose mental health condition was a contributing factor to their case. Through a multidisciplinary approach, participants are supported with case management services that provide support in medical and psychiatric appointments and medication management, housing, vocational.educational assistance, peer support, and counseling.

Penal Code 1001.36
The Goals of Mental Health Court are to:

identify justice impacted clients with qualifying mental health conditions through an accurate diagnosis and the creation of an appropriate treatment plan in order to prevent future arrests, incarceration, convictions, mental health relapses and psychiatric hospitalizations and improve public safety;

avoid criminal convictions for those with mental health conditions that creates barriers to accessing services, housing, treatment, and collateral consequences related to employment;

create a supportive space for a vulnerable population that has long been criminalized for their mental health condition without treatment; and

dismissal of case(s) upon a showing of long-term plan and satisfactory participation throughout diversion.

Mental Health Court

Research & Reports

Behavioral Health Diversion Interventions: Moving from Individual Programs to a Systems-Wide Strategy

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A Radical New Approach for Mental Health Diversion

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NAMI CA Public Policy Position on Criminal Justice

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Daily Journal: Moving for Mental Health Diversion

article by David A. Katz Read More

Mental Health Court: The Future

Forensic Focus with Kelly McAleer, Psy.D. LINK IS BROKEN Read More

Mental Health Courts: A Guide to Research-Informed Policy and Practice

Review the design and function of mental health courts, outcomes of mental health court participation, and questions and … Read More

Adult Mental Health Treatment Courts Database

The GAINS Center has developed a comprehensive database to identify the existing mental health courts in the United … Read More

Mental Health Courts: A Guide to (Research-Informed) Policy and Practice

This guide is intended to assist policymakers and practitioners in assessing the utility of mental health courts. After … Read More

Mental Health Courts Resource Guide

Court-based problem-solving initiatives seek to address the growing number of mentally ill defendants that have entered the criminal … Read More

Mental Health Court Research Overview

Mental health courts link offenders who would ordinarily be prison-bound to long-term community-based treatment. They rely on thorough … Read More

CCJBH July 2021 Newsletter

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Implementation of the Task Force for Criminal Justice Collaboration on Mental Health Issues Recommendations: Progress Update

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Mental Health Issues Implementation Task Force: Final Report

A template for changing the paradigm for persons with mental illness in the California Court System. Read More