Those suffering from serious mental illness and/or developmental disabilities and charged with a criminal offense may be eligible to participate in mental-health court, an intensive mental health treatment program, in exchange for dismissal of those criminal charges. This allows for intervention and treatment to assist the mentally ill instead of a criminal record, jail time, etc., and connects them with resources they may not have otherwise.
Requirements vary by jurisdiction and participation is voluntary, but generally participants are required to attend frequent treatment sessions and sometimes meetings with the judge assigned to the case.
Though currently limited to cases in Chandler, Glendale, Phoenix and Tempe, the prevalence of such programs nationally is increasing.
For more information on this story, please see the azcentral.com article below:
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