4.11: Mental Health Courts
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Mental health courts, like drug courts, are specialized courts that place offenders suffering from mental illness, mental disabilities, drug dependency, or serious personality disorders in a court-supervised, community-based mental health treatment program. Court and community supervision are combined with inpatient or outpatient professional mental health treatment. Offenders receive rewards for compliance with supervision conditions and are disciplined for noncompliance. They are also linked to housing, health care, and life skills training resources that help prevent relapse and promote their recovery. Often, offenders must first plead guilty to charges before being diverted to mental health court.