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Mental Health Court Evaluation Released

The Urban Institute has released an evaluation, Criminal Justice Interventions for Offenders With Mental Illness, that shows that participants in two New York City mental health courts are significantly less likely to re-offend than similar offenders whose cases are handled in the traditional court system.


Statewide Law Enforcement/Mental Health Efforts Publication Released

The Council of State Governments (CSG) Justice Center has released Statewide Law Enforcement/Mental Health Efforts: Strategies to Support and Sustain Local Initiatives. This BJA-supported report examines how states have developed structures and standards to make police encounters with people with mental illnesses safer for all involved and to produce better mental health and criminal justice system outcomes. The report offers a starting point for policymakers, practitioners, and others interested in planning or enhancing a statewide initiative that will support such local-level specialized policing responses as crisis intervention and law enforcement/mental health co-response teams. Read the press release.


Mental Health Court Curriculum Now Available

With BJA support, the Council of State Governments Justice Center has launched Developing a Mental Health Court: An Interdisciplinary Curriculum, a free, online multimedia resource with the information teams need to plan, implement, sustain, or simply learn about mental health courts based on research and best practices from the field.


New Release: Improving Outcomes for People with Mental Illnesses

The Council of State Governments Justice Center, with support from BJA, has released Improving Outcomes for People with Mental Illnesses Involved with New York City’s Criminal Court and Correction Systems.


Learn About Developing a Mental Health Court

"Developing a Mental Health Court: An Interdisciplinary Curriculum," developed by the Council of State Governments Justice Center with support from BJA, is a free multimedia curriculum with the information teams need to plan, implement, sustain, or simply learn about mental health courts based on research and best practices from the field. It is a crucial one-stop resource for judges, behavioral health treatment providers, court managers, judicial educators, probation officers, and many others.


Related Information
The following provide additional information about or related to the Mental Health Courts Program:

The Council of State Governments (CSG), coordinator of the Criminal Justice/Mental Health Consensus Project, will continue to provide technical assistance to BJA Mental Health Court Program grantees planning, implementing, evaluating, and sustaining their Mental Health Courts. In addition, they will provide similar assistance to nongrantee mental health courts and to other court-based initiatives to improve the response to people with mental illness in the criminal justice system. The focus of this year's technical assistance will be on helping court-based initiatives fully integrate their activities with other similar programs in the jurisdiction. To achieve this goal, CSG will make available the following forms of support:

  • Convene a national conference for court-based programs to improve the response to people with mental illness including mental health courts.
  • Maintain a web site dedicated to mental health courts, which also serves as a clearinghouse of information for anyone working in the criminal justice system seeking to improve the response to people with mental illness in the justice system.
  • Provide onsite and offsite technical assistance to grantees and nongrantees.
  • Develop a network of demonstration mental health courts, which will provide peer-to-peer support for courts seeking to improve their response to this population.
  • Coordinate technical assistance efforts with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and its TAPA and GAINS Centers for technical assistance to provide assistance on mental health services and jail diversion strategies. This includes support for the Judges Leadership Initiative, which seeks to build leadership in the judiciary to effectively address the community and consumer needs of those with mental illness in the criminal justice system.
  • Develop and disseminate a written product identifying and explaining the essential elements of a mental health court.
  • To develop written publications on key issues related to justice and mental health collaboration. Current publications include: What Is a Mental Health Court? (under development); Navigating the Mental Health Maze; and A Guide to Collecting Mental Health Court Outcome Data.

For more information on technical assistance available under this program, visit the Consensus Project website.

Danica Binkley
Policy Advisor
202-305-7418
E-mail: Danica.Binkley@ojp.usdoj.gov

Criminal Justice Interventions for Offenders with Mental Illness: Evaluation of Mental Health Courts in Bronx and Brooklyn, New York, (NCJ 238265)National Institute of Justice-Sponsored. This report presents the findings and methodology of the evaluation of mental health courts (MHCs) in Bronx and Brooklyn (New York City).
PDF

Mental Health Courts: A Guide to Research-Informed Policy and Practice, (NCJ 228274), Bureau of Justice Assistance, September 2009. This guide helps policy makers and practitioners understand available research to better design, implement, and evaluate mental health courts.
PDF

Mental Health Courts: A Primer for Policymakers and Practitioners, (NCJ 224316) Bureau of Justice Assistance, 2008. This publication provides the field with a comprehensive overview and history of mental health courts and describes mental health courts' goals and processes, how they differ from drug courts, research findings about their effectiveness, and resources for jurisdictions interested in starting a program.
PDF

More BJA Publications


Announcement:

Developing a Mental Health Court

With support from BJA, the Council of State Governments Justice Center developed and released "Developing a Mental Health Court: An Interdisciplinary Curriculum," a free online curriculum to assist jurisdictions interested in starting new mental health courts, as well as to help further the work of the 300 or so jurisdictions that have launched mental health courts since the early 2000s.


Madison, WI Law Enforcement–Mental Health Learning Site

Read about the Madison (WI) Police Department’s Mental Health Liaison Program—one of six Law Enforcement–Mental Health Learning Sites selected by the Council of State Governments Justice Center and BJA—which is a successful example of how community partners can collaborate to provide police services to people with mental illnesses. Learn more about the learning sites.


Register for Developing a Mental Health Court Webinar

With BJA support, the Council of State Governments is hosting this webinar which introduces the "Developing a Mental Health Court: An Interdisciplinary Curriculum," a free online multimedia curriculum for individuals and teams seeking to start, maintain, or simply learn more about mental health courts. The webinar will be held Thursday, January 10, 2013 at 2:00-3:30 p.m. eastern time.


Funding:

Mental Health Courts Program FY 2006 Call for Concept Papers
Application Deadline: 02/02/2006, 07:59 PM
This call for concept papers from state, local, or tribal governments, including courts, is to fund one additional mental health court demonstration project that reflects innovative and collaborative efforts for systemwide court improvements for offenders with mental disabilities or illnesses.
Solicitation