Mental Health Court
The Mental Health Court (MHC) is a problem-solving alternative court setting for the unique needs of individuals with certain mental illnesses. The many goals of MHC include: reduced recidivism and incarceration of individuals with mental illness through early intervention, and increased treatment engagement, collaboration and coordination with criminal justice, mental health and other community partners. Many times, getting to the root of underlying issues, addressing them, and providing consistent and coordinated care helps a person heal and change direction, taking that person out of the criminal justice system. Although a departure from traditional systems of justice, this approach has been proven effective in Phoenix and other jurisdictions.
Mental Health Court is a collaboration of the Municipal Court, Public Defender’s Office, Prosecutor’s Office and mental health professionals working these specialized cases together with individuals who have been assessed and assigned to MHC.
Success with MHC translates to a healthier and safer community and reduces the cost and burden to Phoenix.
If you have any questions concerning whether a case or an individual is appropriate for Mental Health Court, please contact:
Lynn Gibson, M.A.
Mental Health Specialist, Phoenix Public Defender Office