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Participant Handbook (Pdf)

Mental Health Court Participation Requirements

Participant Agreement
At the time that client enters MHC defense counsel will review the terms and conditions of participation with client. Client must sign the Consent for the Release of Confidential Information, Stipulation and Order to Participate in Mental Health Court. Signed and completed documents must be on file with the court in order for client to participate in the MHC program.

Mental Health Court Orientation
During client's observation of the court docket, the court will explain the program and answer any questions or concerns expressed by the client. After client enters the program, the client must meet with his/her attorney and MHC Treatment Team to review program expectations, including court appearances, treatment requirements, drug testing locations and schedules (if required), and rewards and sanctions.

Case Dispostion
The client must sign and execute a stipulation as to facts as indicated in the police reports and/or affidavit of probable cause. S/he will be advised that the stipulation will be admitted as evidence of the crime if s/he fails to successfully complete the MHC Program and is terminated. Client waives speedy trial, waives jury trial, stipulates to the facts in the police report, and case is continued for up to two years without finding of guilt.

Individual Treatment Plan
All persons participating in MHC will have an individual case management plan, also known as the treatment plan. Members of the MHC Team will be provided with each client's treatment plan. Modifications to each person's plan may be made at the discretion of the MHC Team in consultation with MHC Treatment Team.

Incentives for Successful Progress
Incentives will be tailored to each client and reflect their changing needs as they progress through the program. Incentives may include assistance finding services, positive encouragement from the MHC Team, reduced court appearances, avoidance of jail time, graduation certificates and other tokens of success.

Prior to imposition of a sanction, the cause of non-compliance will be carefully considered to be sure clients are being held accountable for issues within their capacity. Consequences may include judicial reprimands, increased frequency of treatment sessions or contact with treatment provider, increased court appearances, community service, electronic monitoring, curfew, and incarceration.

Progressing Through Treatment
MHC consists of phases that include judicial oversight, individual treatment requirements, possible drug testing, and rewards and sanctions. Phases are designed to build upon the skills acquired in the previous phase, allowing the clients to effectively manage their mental illness (and substance abuse, where applicable) and fostering stable, independent living. As a person moves through the phases of the program, they are evaluated and promoted based on successful completion of each phase

Because all treatment plans are individualized, the requirements may vary. This is a general guideline and is subject to modification by the MHC Treatment Team and MHC Judge.