The Mental Health Court decreases the number of seriously mentally ill individuals in the criminal justice system by collaborating with service agencies for treatment and oversight to reduce civil commitments, arrests, and incarceration costs.
A pre-screen evaluation for a misdemeanor defendant helps determine if further evaluation is needed for competency. The Forensic Services Unit of the Comprehensive Mental Health Court (CMHC) receives the order and relevant documents. The pre-screen report either indicates no further evaluation or recommends further evaluation, with the originating court judge deciding on ordering a full rule.
The Forensics Services Division evaluates defendants for competency in criminal cases. If found competent, they return to trial court; if found incompetent but restorable, they receive treatment in a Restoration to Competency (RTC) program or an Outpatient Treatment Program. If deemed incompetent and not restorable within statutory time limits, civil commitment may be pursued, leading to evaluation and treatment at Valleywise Behavioral Health Center and dismissal of criminal charges.
The Seriously Mentally Ill (SMI)-Probation Violation Court aims to collaborate with treatment providers, offering tools to increase success for SMI defendants on probation. The court works to enable SMI defendants to earn misdemeanors and expedite release from custody to approved treatment when appropriate.