Mental Health Court Explained

What is a Mental Health Court and What Do They Do?


The Mental Health Court works to increase effective cooperation between the mental health treatment system and the criminal justice system. Misdemeanor defendants with mental illnesses have a single point of contact with the court system and work with a dedicated team including judge, prosecutor, defender, treatment court liaison, and probation officers.For the mentally ill misdemeanant population the goal is to achieve faster case processing time, improved access to public mental health treatment services, improved well-being, and reduced recidivism. For the greater community the goal is improved public safety.

For a mental health overview by the King County District Court--Mental Health Court: A division of King County Government, go to their website. You will also find information on background, program objectives and an explanation on how it works.

For a mental health overview by the Municipal Court of Seattle--Mental Health Court: A division of Seattle City Government, go to their website. You will find their address, an email to send questions or comments to and Seattle Municipal Court Mental Health Court Forms and more.

The Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is the Federal agency charged with improving the quality and availability of prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation services in order to reduce illness, death, disability, and cost to society resulting from substance abuse and mental illnesses.

The Criminal Justice / Mental Health Consensus Project is a national effort coordinated by the Council of State Governments (CSG) to help local, state, and federal policymakers and criminal justice and mental health professionals improve the response to people with mental illness who become involved in, or are at risk of involvement in, the criminal justice system.

Why are so many people with serious mental illnesses homeless?
"People with serious mental illnesses are over-represented among the homeless population. While only four percent of the U.S. population has a serious mental illness, five to six times as many people who are homeless (20-25%) have serious mental illnesses."

DSHS Mental Health Services--Frequently Asked Questions. This site offers a wide scope of questions and answers about mental health treatment and services. Who qualifies, How to find publicly funded mental health treatment for my child or adolescent and many more questions are answered here.

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