Utah s Voice on Mental Illness

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1 Utah s Voice on Mental Illness

2 Adult and Juvenile Criminal Mental Jackie Rendo Health Courts Mentor Supervisor, Adult Criminal Justice Advocate Megan Lundskog Family Resource Facilitator; Juvenile Criminal Justice Advocate

3 Criminal Justice/Mental Health Consensus Project National effort coordinated by the Council of State Governments Justice Center to help local, state, and federal policymakers and criminal justice and mental health professionals improve the response to people with mental illnesses who come into contact with the criminal justice system.

4 Adult Mental Health Courts in Utah Salt Lake County Cache County Davis County Utah County Washington County Weber County Federal Mental Health Court Box Elder County (January 2015) Vernal (?start date)

5 Goals Link offenders who have a serious and persistent mental illness with local mental health service providers Individual treatment plans that serve the offender and the community Intensive supervision Adherence to all conditions and requirements Reducing incarceration and recidivism of offenders with serious and persistent mental illness

6 Medical Criteria The applicant must have a diagnosis of a serious and persistent mental illness: Schizophrenia Bipolar Disorder Schizoaffective Disorder

7 Legally competent Legal Criteria No sex offense charges or convictions No pending DUI charges or be on probation for a DUI offense No violent offenses Applicant/participant must live in the same county as the mental health court where the charges are filed.

8 Application to Mental Health Court Individual completes the application and signs release forms Attorney discusses pros/cons of participation in mental health court and obtains medical records

9 Application to Mental Health Court Psychologist from the local behavioral health authority evaluates documentation to determine medical eligibility If eligible by medical criteria the application is forwarded to the prosecuting attorneys to determine legal eligibility

10 Mental Health Court Some mental health courts require an assessment by the local behavioral health authority prior to starting mental health court Orientation and observation of several court sessions

11 Mental Health Court A plea deal is negotiated in the customary manner. Defendant must plead guilty to the charges in the plea deal in order to be accepted into mental health court.

12 Mental Health Court Once the guilty plea is accepted the judge sentences the participant to jail/prison according to the standard sentencing for the crime. Sentence is suspended on the condition that all of the requirements of mental health court are met.

13 Mental Health Court Requirements Attend weekly mental health court sessions. Abide by all probation conditions. Follow the treatment plan developed by the psychiatrist and behavioral health team Medications, counseling, group sessions Random drug testing

14 What happens if I change my mind? Prior to entering a plea your case will be referred back to the originating court. If you are already participating in mental health court and change your mind, since you pled guilty to the charges, you will be sent to jail or prison for however long you were sentenced.

15 Points to Ponder Mental health court may not even be an option for low-level misdemeanors. Some individuals prefer to just do the time and get it over with. Mental health court is voluntary. Carefully consider willingness to comply with all of the requirements.

16 Points to Ponder A criminal record may affect your ability to get a job, housing, or the career of your choice. Multiple misdemeanor convictions can lead to enhancement of charges for future offenses.

17 Points to Ponder Greater understanding that individuals with mental illness may experience difficulties along the way. Graded sanctions and incentives.

18 Points to Ponder Upon successful completion of mental health court: The conviction will either be dismissed, if a plea in abeyance was entered, or will decrease by one level of severity on your record

19 Juvenile Mental Health Court General History The first JMHC in the US was started in Santa Clara County, CA in 2001 There are now 62 JMHCS nation wide Utah is home to 2 of those programs Third District Juvenile Court: Salt Lake County First District Juvenile Court: Cache & Box Elder Counties juvenilemhc.asp

20 Juvenile Mental Health Court Third District SLC History C3 JMHC was started 8 years ago The JMHC program began as a pilot program in the Jordan School District and has since expanded to cover Salt Lake County The C3 team includes the Defense Attorney, Prosecutors, PO, Judge, NAMI rep, MH reps from the community, and reps from SL County School Districts.

21 Goals of JMHC To divert youth offenders with mental health needs from getting involved with the criminal justice system. To target kids with high criminogenic behavior AND high mental health needs. To reduce/eliminate recidivism

22 Admission Criteria Any diagnosable mental illness accepted - ADHD, ODD, etc. are accepted but need to be accompanied by a MH diagnosis as well. IQ above 65 Sexual assault & cases involving prior brain damage accepted on a case by case basis. Youth can be referred to JMHC by anyone therapists, parents, treatment profs

23 MH Court vs. Regular Court In JMHC the youth enter into an agreement with the Judge allowing him to take information action to address a violation, (ex. DT, house arrest, no contact order, letters of apology, etc.) Upon successful completion of the program, ALL charges are dismissed.

24 Measures of Success Recidivism rates: data taken from JMHC participants GRADUATES 10% TERMINATED 32% OVERALL RECIDIVISM RATE..42% *Recidivism: The number of times a prior participant has been adjudicated and found guilty on new charges

25 Future Hopes for C3 Getting Canyons & Murray School Districts to get more involved. Having DT, YS, and CIT officers more involved in the JMHC team. Getting more professionals involved & united in the family s overall treatment. Introducing more measures of success & family satisfaction of the program.

26 References s/juvenilemhc.asp a/administrative/child_law/clp/artcollections/j uvjust/juvmhcourts.authcheckdam.pdf HC_nat'l_survey.pdf

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