Mental Health

Overview

Mental health courts link offenders who would ordinarily be prison-bound to long-term community-based treatment. They rely on thorough mental health assessments, individualized treatment plans, and ongoing judicial monitoring to address both the mental health needs of offenders and public safety concerns of communities. New York's original mental health court is the Brooklyn Mental Health Court. Today there are hundreds of mental health courts across the country. And for adolescents charged with delinquency, the Center has created the Futures program, which brings key elements of mental health courts to delinquency court parts, providing mental health screening, assessment, intensive case management, and family support services.

To get help planning, implementing, or evaluating a mental health program, click here.

Publications

When Research Challenges Policy and Practice: Toward a New Understanding of Mental Health Courts

When Research Challenges Policy and Practice: Toward a New Understanding of Mental Health Courts

By Carol Fisler

Writing in the pages of Judges Journal, Center for Court Innovation Director of Mental Health Court Programs Carol Fisler discusses the implications of a growing body of research on the efficacy of mental health courts. 

Publications

Evidence-Based Risk Assessment in a Mental Health Court: A Validation Study of the COMPAS Risk Assessment

Evidence-Based Risk Assessment in a Mental Health Court: A Validation Study of the COMPAS Risk Assessment

By Warren A. Reich, Sarah Picard-Fritsche, Virginia Barber Rioja and Merrill Rotter

This study examines the validity of the COMPAS with offenders who have a serious mental illness. A widely used risk-needs assessment tool, the COMPAS was found to be a good predictor of re-arrest with this population, although it was more effective in distinguishing low-risk offenders from all others than in identifying those who pose a medium as opposed to a high risk of re-arrest. Overall, approximately two-thirds of study-participants were classified as low risk. At the same time, more than half of the sample scored in the high range on the important needs domains of substance abuse, criminal personality, and criminal thinking. The study discusses potential implications for using the COMPAS with mentally-ill individuals.

Video

BK Live: New NYC Program for Mentally Ill Inmates

BK Live: New NYC Program for Mentally Ill Inmates

Carol Fisler, the Center for Court Innovation’s director of mental health court programs, participates in a panel on the show "BK Live" on Brooklyn Independent Media.

 

Audio

Brooklyn Mental Health Court: Linking Offenders to Treatment

Brooklyn Mental Health Court: Linking Offenders to Treatment

Judge Matthew D'Emic and others explain how the Brooklyn Mental Health Court links mentally-ill offenders to treatment and rigorously monitors compliance.

Operating Programs
Most Popular Research

Publications

Evidence-Based Strategies for Working with Offenders

Evidence-Based Strategies for Working with Offenders

By Michael Rempel

This fact sheet distills a growing body of research about evidence-based strategies in five areas for reducing recidivism among criminal offenders: assessment, treatment, deterrence, procedural justice, and collaboration.

Publications

Love One Another and Take Care of Each Other: A Process Evaluation of the Rocky Boy’s Children Exposed to Violence Project

Love One Another and Take Care of Each Other: A Process Evaluation of the Rocky Boy’s Children Exposed to Violence Project

By Lama Hassoun Ayoub

Rocky Boy’s Children Exposed to Violence Project was informed by a commitment to culture as prevention—reconnecting youth and families with the Chippewa Cree language, culture, and traditions. The primary components of the initiative were advocacy and case management for children and families coping with exposure to violence; crisis intervention services; treatment referrals; traditional healing ceremonies; and community awareness and education activities. (April 2015)

Video

Why Procedural Justice Matters: Tom R. Tyler at Community Justice 2012
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