Charlotte County Mental Health Court Program

INTRODUCTION

The Charlotte County Mental Health Court Program was developed in an effort to help the mentally ill or dually diagnosed defendant through the Criminal Justice system by balancing the needs of both the defendant and the community. The Charlotte County Mental Health Court Program offers treatment alternatives in place of traditional court and jail time.

If you have been arrested and you have a serious mental illness or co-occurring (mental illness and substance abuse) disorder, you may have an opportunity to participate in the Mental Health Court Program in Charlotte County. It is a collaborative effort between the State Attorney, Defense Counsel, Judicial System, Criminal System and Charlotte Behavioral Care(CBHC).

The program is designed to identify and address the unique needs of the mentally ill criminal offender. Mental Health Court represents an effort to increase effective cooperation between the criminal justice system and the mental health system. Positive results are seen with faster processing time, improved access to mental health treatment services and reducting recidivism.

This is a voluntary program which includes regular court appearances before a designated Mental Health Court Judge, along with mental health treatment in accordance to an individualized Intervention Plan developed for you by mental health court professionals.

Mentally ill offenders are connected with treatment services, regardless of their ability to pay.


MENTAL HEALTH COURT TEAM

The Mental Health Court Team is composed of the following:

  • Judge
  • Mental Health Court Program Manager
  • CBHC Treatment Team
  • Defense Counsel
  • State Attorney
  • Department of Corrections
  • County Probation Officer

PROGRAM GOALS

The Mental Health Court Program Goals are:

  • Create effective interventions between the Criminal Justice and Mental Health systems.
  • Ensure legal advocacy for the mentally ill defendant.
  • Ensure that mentally ill defendents do not languish in jail because of mental illness.
  • Balance the rights of the defendant and the public safety by recommending the least restrictive, most appropriate and most workable disposition.
  • Divert mentally ill defendants with minor criminal charges to community based mental health services.
  • Monitor the delivery and receipt of mental health services and treatment.
  • Reduce the contact of the mentally ill defendant with the criminal justice system by creating a bridge between them.
  • Solicit participation from consumers and family members in court decisions.

INFORMATION/CONTACTS

For more information about this program and/or to make a referral, please contact Charlotte County Pretrial Services at (941) 637-2297. A referral form (download above) may also be submitted to the following:

Charlotte County Pretrial Services
Specialty Court Coordinator
Gerald Gray
Phone: (941) 637-2297