Mental Health Courts and their Arizona Locations
In Arizona, some criminal defendants may be eligible to have their case tried in a mental health court rather than in a traditional court. Other courts offer post-conviction programs where mentally ill defendants are supported through probation with special services. Mental health courts are diversionary programs for adults with mental health disorders to direct them away from traditional incarceration penalties.
Not all court systems within Arizona offer mental health courts, but the amount that do is ever-growing. Mental health courts provide a judge, a mental health professional, a prosecutor, and a public defender. The defendant is often ordered to undergo mental health treatment or counseling.
Mental health courts are offered in the following locations in the state of Arizona:
Established in its current form in 2011 in coordination with the Arizona Counseling and Treatment Operations, this is a combined deferred prosecution and post-conviction program.
This voluntary mental health court serves Seriously Mentally Ill (SMI) individuals in the criminal justice system. Their peer support program lasts 12 months, and successful completion may result in early termination or dismissals of certain charges.
A combined deferred prosecution and post-conviction program, this mental health court accepts defendants transferred from the Coconino County Superior Court. The court accepts both misdemeanor and felony cases in conjunction with the Northern Arizona Regional Behavioral Health Authority.
Established in 2006, this program was designed to produce better outcomes for defendants with mental illnesses. This mental health court is a deferred prosecution program, modeled after mental health courts in Tucson and Tempe.
Chandler’s deferred prosecution program allows their mental health court to address the needs of those with Serious Mental Illness (SMI) or General Mental Health (GMH) to have more individualized and effective treatment services.
Implemented in 2013, this deferred prosecution program was designed to address the financial strain caused by Rule 11 cases and to provide appropriate services for these defendants.
Called the Behavioral Health Court, Phoenix Municipal’s deferred prosecution program helps those with Serious Mental Illness, behavioral health issues, Traumatic Brain Injuries, Developmental Disabilities, and other similar disorders. It utilizes early intervention, treatment engagement, collaboration, and coordination with criminal justice and behavioral support agencies.
The comprehensive mental health court utilizes pre-screen evaluations to determine if a defendant needs additional mental health evaluation, with those eligible being sent to an outpatient treatment program or the Correctional Health Services Restoration to Competency program. They also work with the Seriously Mentally Ill Probation Violation Court. This is a post-conviction program.
Tempe’s deferred prosecution program is a cooperative effort between the judge, prosecutor, defense attorney, and behavioral treatment team to help the defendant complete the program. Completing the program may allow a defendant to have their charges dismissed or reduced. Participants must be enrolled with the Regional Behavioral Health Authority.
This program was designed to prevent future court involvement from children in the child welfare system. The Court Team includes juvenile dependency judges, attorneys, DCS, the Foster Care Review Board, special advocates, and others to raise awareness among the community regarding the negative outcomes of childhood maltreatment.
This Tucson mental health court was developed in 2000 following tragedies resulting from mental illness. The current combined deferred prosecution and post-conviction program was established in 2009 to treat mentally ill individuals to reduce recidivism.
This post-conviction program was designed in 2004 to handle the needs of mentally ill offenders. After identifying mentally ill defendants who were sentenced to probation, the program provides to them additional support and guidance to complete probation.
This Mental Health Division is the oldest continuously operating mental health court in the state. A combined deferred prosecution and post-conviction program, this program holds defendants accountable while providing them appropriate treatment. It also received an Arizona Supreme Court Justice 2002 Innovations award in the area of “Being Accountable” as well as multiple other awards.
This Mental Health Treatment Court is a combined deferred prosecution and post-conviction program. The program provides collaborative supervision and treatment services under a designated Mental Health Court Judge.
Yavapai County’s post-conviction program was designed to hold all team members accountable to support mentally ill probation clients.
Yuma’s mental health court allows mentally ill defendants on probation to volunteer to undergo mental health court participation. They are helped in the areas of housing, residential treatment, substance abuse issues, mental health services, etc.
Rideout Law Group is experienced in handling criminal cases involving mentally ill defendants, as well as working with them in mental health courts throughout the state.
RIDEOUT LAW GROUP
With offices in Lake Havasu City and Scottsdale, our firm serves the entire state of Arizona, with a particular focus on criminal defense, family law, and juvenile cases.
Our goal is for the best outcome for your criminal case, which can include:
- charges that are reduced or dropped.
- top experts reviewing your case.
- aggressive negotiations with the prosecution for plea bargains.
- fines or probation in lieu of jail time.
At Rideout Law Group, our attorneys are able to expertly examine the evidence in your case to provide a strong strategy for argument that leads to an outcome that is most favorable to you. We have experience in all types of criminal cases for both adults and juveniles, with positive outcomes both in plea negotiations as well as jury trial settings.
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