Mental Health Courts Helping Put the Pieces Back Together

Mental Health Courts

INTRODUCTION

Mental Health Courts

In this issue of The Judges’ Journal, we look at the “new” type of problem-solving court—mental health courts. We examine the development and research into the effectiveness of these courts and what the future holds. We also hear from judges who have firsthand experience in creating and running mental health courts.

Throughout her life, Frankie Muse Freeman has worked tirelessly for racial justice and equality. From being instrumental in forming the Citizens Commission on Civil Rights to serving as the first woman on the U.S. commission on Civil Rights, her impact on St. Louis and the nation at large will be felt for generations to come. Even today, at 98, she continues to stay informed of civil rights issues and champion the cause.

Judge Dixon discusses from the perspective of the pessimist, optimist, and pragmatist the results of a Pew Research Center survey that asked experts what the public’s view and expectation of privacy will be in the next 10 years.

In mental health court, the goals are to address the underlying reason that the person is interacting with the judicial system and to reduce the chances that it will recur. In addition to the usual problem-solving court dilemmas, judges in mental health court often need to rely on teams of outside providers.

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