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Mental Health Diversionary Program

Mental Health Diversionary Program

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Mental Health Diversionary Program

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  1. Mental Health Diversionary Program • Purpose: To reduce the number of mentally ill clients incarcerated or insufficiently served while aiding in recovery. • Proposal: Create a diversionary program that combines behavioral health treatment in the community with community supervision provided by Court Support Services Division (CSSD) for defendants with psychiatric disabilities.

  2. Psychiatric disability is a mental or emotional condition that has substantial adverse effects on the defendant’s ability to function and requires care and treatment

  3. DOC Mental Health • 758 unsentenced inmates (Mental Health 3’s) (Data received from DOC on 1/4/07) • 157 unsentenced inmates (Mental Health 4’s) (Data received from DOC on 9/14/07)

  4. ELIGIBILITY • Client found to have a psychiatric disability. • Client who would benefit from treatment. • Pending charges in court that are not of a serious nature.

  5. EXCLUDED OFFENSES • Same as the excluded provision set forth in the statute pertaining to Accelerated Rehabilitation (54-56e).

  6. REFERRAL PROCESS • Clients can be referred for an evaluation any time after arrest and prior to disposition. • The Judge, prosecutor, defense attorney or CSSD employee can request a mental health evaluation. • Clients referred will have the evaluation completed by DMHAS or CSSD’s contracted provider.

  7. REFERRAL PROCESS(Continued) • If the client is already involved in mental health services at the Local Mental Health Authority, Jail Diversion will obtain information on the client’s diagnosis and treatment plan. • CSSD staff will supply the Court with a report describing the client’s mental health condition including a treatment plan if appropriate.

  8. REFERRAL PROCESS(Continued) • The client must agree to the treatment plan in order to be accepted into the program. • The client must sign any Authorization for Release of Information to CSSD for all current mental health treatment and services for the defendant. • The client agrees to waive their right to a speedy trial. • The defendant must agree to comply with the conditions of such program which will not exceed 2 years.

  9. CASE DISMISSAL • The Judge will dismiss the case when the client successfully completes their period of supervision (not to exceed 2 years). • CSSD will provide the court with a report detailing the clients compliance with treatment and all other all conditions of supervision. • CSSD can return a client back to court early when the client has exhibited a pattern of non-compliance with treatment plan and special conditions.

  10. BENEFITS • Diverts some clients from pre-trial incarceration. • Improve treatment access and provide community supervision. • Reduce court dockets. • Expunge record can benefit the client as they re-integrate into the community.

  11. RESOURCES CSSD and DMHAS will work together to determine the number of persons with psychiatric disabilities who could be impacted by this proposal and the resulting need for additional resources for community services. The additional community services would include clinical care, case management services, housing, and recovery supports (transportation, basic needs, etc.).