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Community Resource Court

Community Resource Court. An Inter-Agency Collaboration Judicial District 15B OPC-LME Caring Family Network Orange and Chatham Counties North Carolina. Powerpoint presentation written by Judge Joe Buckner, Marie Lamoureaux, Tom Velivil & Jeffrey DeMagistris, September 2005

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Community Resource Court

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  1. Community Resource Court An Inter-Agency Collaboration Judicial District 15B OPC-LME Caring Family Network Orange and Chatham Counties North Carolina Powerpoint presentation written by Judge Joe Buckner, Marie Lamoureaux, Tom Velivil & Jeffrey DeMagistris, September 2005 Additional copies may be requested by calling Caroline Ginley at 919-913-4252 or Marie Lamoureaux at (919) 245-2274

  2. Orange County Adult Drug Treatment Court 12 month intensive court-supervised treatment program for substance abusing criminal offenders. Orange County Community Resource Court Minimum 6-month court- supervised treatment alternative for offenders with a primary diagnosis of mental health Orange County Family Treatment Court 12 month intensive court-supervised treatment program for parents who have been petitioned by DSS for abuse or neglect of their children. Chatham County Community Resource Court Judicial District 15B Therapeutic Courts Treatment alternative to traditional court remedy Judicial over site by one Judge Regular Court Monitoring Core Court Team Pre-court Team Meetings Collaborative decision-making by treatment and legalprofessionals

  3. MHC History • In 2002, the Consensus Project Report found that “people with mental illness are falling through the cracks of this country’s social safety net and are landing in the criminal justice system at an alarming rate”. • An initial review in 2001 (by the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law) of emergent inter-agency collaborations between judicial systems and mental health programs revealed that there was no single model for a mental health court.

  4. National Trends • 16% of the jail population has a serious mental illness • Offenders with mental illness are spending 8 times the amount of time in jail as other offenders with out mental illness • Jail and prison systems are spending 7 times the amount per mentally ill offender on emergency services as other offenders • In 1997 only four mental health courts existed.-As of June 2005 there were 125 operational courts in 36 states.

  5. Serious Mental Disorders Among General Population & Jail Admissions What Court-Based Programs Can Do to Improve Outcomes for People with Co-Occurring Disorders Fred Osher and Broward County Felony Mental Health Court Mental Health Courts and Beyond June 22, 2005

  6. What isCOMMUNITY RESOURCE COURT?(CRC) CRC was created to address the treatment needs of people with mental health issues who became involved with the criminal courts. • Links offenders with services and supports that help them to better manage their mental illness • Also called “Mental Health Court” because it helps people address their mental health needs as well as helping them to be law abiding residents.

  7. Orange & Chatham CRC • Originated: • Orange - April 2000 • Chatham – February 2005 • A Collaborative Effort Between OPC Area Program and Judicial District 15B • Participating Agencies: District Attorney’s Office, Public Defender’s Office, local law enforcement agencies, Probation, Pre-Trial Services, OPC-LME, Caring Family Network Programs, other community treatment providers

  8. CRC Mission It is the mission of the Community Resource Court to offer defendants with a mental illness an opportunity to engage in accessible, individualized treatment services that positively impact on their quality of life and legal outcome.

  9. Community Resource Court

  10. CRC Goals • PROTECT PUBLIC SAFETY–balance the defendant's individual rights, treatment considerations, and the need for public safety while also reducing the use of jail and repeated interaction with the criminal justice system for mentally ill persons • IMPROVE QUALITY OF LIFE–ensure that people with mental illness and co-occurring substance abuse disorders who are involved in the justice system are connected or reconnected to effective community-based treatments and supports that help to encourage recovery. • USE THERAPEUTIC JURISPRUDENCE–create a courtroom with a high degree of sensitivity to the specialized needs of individuals with mental illness in order to better assist in the recovery process and in assuming personal responsibility for comprehensive healthneeds. • IMPROVE OUTCOMES-(accountability&collaboration) overseeing the coordination, effectiveness, and accountability of both the delivery of community based treatment and services and compliance with treatment by the individual defendant. • DECREASE EXPENDITURES–by providing treatment to people with mental illness in the community, where it is considerably more cost effective than in correctional institutions, without jeopardizing public safety. “Persons with a mental illness spend 2-5 times longer in jail than persons without a mental illness.” Criminal Justice/Mental Health Consensus Project, 2003

  11. Eligibility Requirements • Charged with criminal offense • Must have mental health diagnosis or mental health treatment history • Priority given to defendants with Severe and Persistent Mental Illness (SPMI) who are eligible for long term case management services • The DA must also screen all cases to see if charges are appropriate for CRC. A Defendant may be deemed legally inappropriate if there is a history of violent offenses or if current charges reflect concern for public safety • Must be agreeable to treatment • Must determine if there are adequate and accessible services available

  12. Program Requirements*Participation in Community Resource Court is Voluntary* • The Participant Agrees To: • Obtain or submit to a mental health assessment • Sign an Informed Consent Form for sharing of treatment information with court team • Comply with recommended treatment, including taking any prescribed medications, for a minimum of 6 months • Attend monthly Court reviews • Not to commit any new offenses. New charges may result in termination from CRC • Have 6 months of continuous treatment compliance before being considered for graduation. Periods of non-compliance or instability may result in longer period of time in CRC. • Continuous patterns of non-compliance with treatment recommendations result in participant returning to regular court for disposition of their case(s). *At any time a participant may choose to withdraw from Community Resource Court and have their case(s) routed to regular court.

  13. Local Status • Court session once a month in Hillsborough, Chapel Hill, Pittsboro and Siler City • Since inception, 603 participants (April 2000-September 2007) • Average 85 participants a year • Have maintained a 50% graduation rate over the 6 year (except for 1 year) • Gender: Average over 6 years • 65% male • 35%female • Race: • 54% Caucasian • 40% African-American *Small percentage Hispanic and Asian • Current stats (as of September 2007) Orange Chatham Active – 46 Active-19 Closed - 41 Closed-12

  14. CRC ResearchAn Evaluation of the Community Resource Courtby Marlee M. Gurrera,Department of Sociology and AnthropologyNorth Carolina State University The sample includes all defendants who were present in the CRC for their first court appearance from January 2002 to August 2002 and who agreed to mental health record review by the researcher CRC Participants(Graduates and Non-Graduates) Vs. Traditional Court Defendants • Research indicates that CRC graduates experience a decline in average number of arrests after entry into the CRC. • CRC participants have a rate of re-arrest that is about half (55%) that of traditional court defendants. • The CRC graduates rate of re-arrest was less than ¼ that of traditional court defendants. • CRC Participation significantly reduces the severity of re-offending for those who do re-offend. • Research indicates that CRC graduates experience a decline in the average severity of arrests after entry into the CRC.

  15. CRC Funding • JANUARY 2001: NC Mental Health Block Grant (Mental Health Court Case Manager) • MARCH 2003: Bureau of Justice Assistance, US Office of Justice; Mental Health Courts Pilot Grant (Mental Health Court Clinical Social Worker • SEPTEMBER 2003: Submission to the Council of State Governments-Request for technical assistance to improve collaboration between corrections and mental health system • FY 2003/-4: NC General Assembly House Bill 1414-Established pilot mental health programs in Judicial District 15B • FY 2005/06: Approval of line item in DHHS Budget for Community Resource Court • *Federal Legislation: Mental Health Offender Act

  16. Benefits of CRC Personal “Graduates” will improve their quality of life Families gain insight & interest into their children’s lives Participants will learn to manage their illness and acquire proper skills necessary to maintain healthy, crime-free lifestyle Compliant participants will gain a positive legal remedy to criminal offense resulting in no active jail time or dismissal of the charges • Community • Reduced recidivism • Community peace • Connect/Reconnect people to services • Avoid unnecessary criminalization/ extended incarceration • Reduced jail costs Reduced emergency room visits • Improve safety of law enforcement

  17. Challenges / Needs • Community Response: Coordinated Funding Access to Treatment Affordable housing Transportation Service Coordination • Court system dedicating their time: in-kind • Target Population vs. Non-target pop. • Analysis of outcome data: evaluation tools/personnel?

  18. Why We Do It “When I started the CRC and people would tell me what to do – I did not get why they were telling me what to do……I did what I always did which was drinking.” “Thanks to the CRC team case manager, doctor, therapist (and) court they made me believe…I know if I ever start back drinking again, I will die. CRC did this for me…..it almost killed me to be locked up. The CRC offered another option for me to stay in the community.” “The CRC court saved my life.” Kurt

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