Accessing the Mental Health Court Program
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Referral into the MHC program may be made by your attorney, the prosecuting attorney, the judge, probation officer, the jail, or a mental health professional and an application form must be completed. Following clinical screening your application for acceptance into the MHC program will be sumbited to a staffing team for acceptance or denial. If accepted into the MHC program, your attorney may continue to represent you, in a non-adversarial manner, during your participation in the program.
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As a MHC participant, you will be required to abide by the following rules:
- Attend all ordered treatment sessions. This includes individual and group counseling, educational sessions, and other treatment as directed. Unexcused missed treatments sessions will result in a sanction.
- Be on time. If you are late for a treatment, you may not be allowed to participate and will be considered non-compliant. Contact your counselor if there is a possibility that you may be late.
- Do not make threats toward other participants or staff or behave in a violent manner. Violent or inappropriate behavior will not be tolerated and will be reported to the court. This behavior may result in a sanction or termination from the MHC program.
- Attend all court sessions as directed by the MHC probation officer.
- Abstain from the use of alcohol and illicit drugs. This condition is fundamental to successful completion fo the program. Any prescription medication must be reported to the MHC team for review. Abuse of prescription drugs will result in a sanction.
- Submit to urinalysis and/or breath test as requested. You will be tested throughout the entire program for substance abuse and/or medication compliance. During the first phase, ou will be tested frequently and randomly. As you progress throught the program, testing will be required on a less frequent bais. The MHC judge may order a test at any time and will have access to all drug testing results including any "stalls" or failures to test. A "stall" is considered the inability to provide a urine specimen within 15 minutes of the request. A "stall", failing to report, or appearing late to submit a urine test will be treated as a violation. Adulterated urine will be considered as a posititve test. One of the goals of the MHC is to help you achieve total abstinence from alcohol and illicit drugs; however, a positive breath or urine test will not automatically disqualify you from the program. The judge will review your overall performance with the MHC staffing team to determine appropriate consequences. No new criminal charges will be filed against you as the result of a positive breath or urine test, unless a separate crime has been committed.
- Maintain confidentiality of other MHC participants. Treatment cannot succeed unless all participants maintain the confidentiality of other participants and of information disclosed in treatment.
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Phase One -- 12 Weeks Minimum
- Report to probation officer in person at least once a week or as directed by the probation officer.
- Cooperate with Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) team to determine a treatment plan. Remain or become compliant with ALL mental health treatment directives. This will include daily medication monitoring throughout Phase I.
- Attend alcohol/drug counseling and /or 12-step meetings at least once daily seven days a week if directed by the treatment team and prbation officer. Provide written verification as directed by the probation officer.
- Submit to random urinalysis or BAC tests one (1) to three (3) times per week or as directed by probatoin officer or treatment provider.
- Attend MHC at least once per week.
- Attend general health class as directed by probation officer.
- Obtain a support sponsor (i.e. National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI) "Peer-to-Peer" or "Celebrate Recovery" programs) within 30 days of sign up. Contact sponsor at least once per week and provide written verification as directed by the probation officer.
- Attend mental health and wellness class, at least once per week, provided by the Idaho State Health and Welfare, Mental Health.
- Pay a $20.00 monthly fee.
Phase Two -- 12 Weeks Minimum
- Report to probation officer in person at least three (3) times per month or as directed by the probation officer.
- Remain compliant with ALL mental health directives. This includes strict compliance with medication recommendations.
- Submit to random urinalysis or BAC tests at least on e (1) time per week or as directed by probation officer or treatment provider.
- Attend alcohol/drug counseling and /or 12-step meetings a minimum of five (5) days a week if directed by the treatment provider and probation officer.
- Attend MHC at least three (3) times per month.
- Continue to cantact your sponsor at least once (1) per week and provide written verification as directed by the probation officer.
- Attend mental health and wellness class, at least once per week, provided by the Idaho State Health and Welfare, Mental health.
- Pay a $20.00 monthly fee.
Phase Three -- 12 Weeks Minimum
- Report to probation officer in person at least two (2) times per month or as directed by the probation officer.
- Remain compliant with ALL mental health directives.
- Attend alcohol/drug counseling and/or 12-step meetings a minimum of three (3) days a week if directed by the treatment provider and probation officer. Provide written verification as directed by the probation officer.
- Submit to random urinalysis or BAC tests at least one (1) time per week or as directed by probation officer or treatment provider.
- Attend MHC at least two (2) times per month.
- Continue to contact your sponsor at least once (1) per week and provide wreitten verification as directed by the probation officer.
- Pay a $20.00 monthly fee.
Phase Four -- 5 Month Minimum
- Report to probation officer in person at least once a month.
- Attend treatment as instructed by the treatment provider.
- If directed, attend 12-step meetings a minimum of two (2) times a week and provide written verification as directed by the probation officer.
- Submit to random urinalysis and/or BAC tests as requested by the probation officer.
- Attend MHC once a month.
- If directed, continue to contact sponsor at least once per week and provide written verification as directed by the probation officer.
- Pay a $20.00 monthly fee to graduate and be current with other fees and fines. (other fees and fines may include, but are not limited to, court fines, treatment fees, and drug testing fees.).
- Maintian employment or participate in continuing education as directed.
- Once you have graduated from the program and you have completed probation, you may have your felony reduced to a misdemeanor or dismissed.
Frequently Asked Questions
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What if I have a serious medical condition?
In general, if you have a serious medical condition you will not be excluded from MHC. You must be willing to fully disclose your condition and medical care to the treatment providers and MHC team. If you are taking a prescribed medication for your condition, you must continue to do so. Although we can be flexible and work around your condition, you must be able to engage in and complete treatment.
Can I use prescription medication?
As a general rule, MHC participants are expected to be drug free, including the unauthorized use of prescription medication.
If your doctor prescribes medication, you must bring in the prescription to your probation officer as well as the drug testing facility. You will then sign a release so that your probation officer can verify the prescription. While in MHC, you must use ONE doctor or ONE dentist and ONE pharmacy. We also require that you notify the medical professional of your addiction and that you request non-narcotic pain medications when a prescription is being recommended.
What happens once I am in the program?
You will be required to participate fully in the program to graduate from MHC. This will inlude random drug testing, court appearances, making payments, verifying self-help meetings, individual and group therapy, mental health treatment, as well as on going cantact with your probation officer.
What if I want to travel outside of Kootenai County?
If you need to travel outside Kootenai County, you must first contact your probation officer to request permission to leave. As a condition of travel, the probation officer my require you to submit to a drug test prior to leaving and immediately upon return. Another condition may be that a treatment group not be missed. If a treatment group would be missed, further permission from your treatment provider would be required.
What sanctions are given?
If you do not comply with the treatment tasks, probation conditions, or do not attend mandatory meetings, the Judge will sanction your actions. Possible sanctions include but are not limited to:
- Increased AA/NA meetings
- Writing assignments
- Return to prior phase
- Increased drug testing
- Electronic monitoring
- Jail time
- Sheriff's labor program
- Community service hours
- Loss of points
- Termination from the program
How do drug screens work?
You will be required to provide ongoing random urine samples to monitor your progress. A same-sex employee at the testing facility will supervise you when you give a specimen. Urinalysis reports are documented and available to the court. Any positive urine screens, tampered samples or refusal to provide a sample may be grounds for sanctions from the judge.
Bring anything you are taking with you to your drug testing location. Poppy seeds are a concentrated form of opium and should not be eaten, Some "power drinks" contain pseudoephedrine and are not to be taken. Your recovery is important. Staying away from these items will not only give you clean tests, it will keep substances out of your system which may trigger old addictions.
You must be very careful not to ingest:
- Poppy seeds in any form (muffins, breads, bagels, etc.)
- Flushing Agents
- "Natural" or herbal remedies
- "Power" drinkds (Red Bull and others)
- All over-the-counter medications (such as Nyquil and including sasal sprays) without prior approval from your probations officer
- Metabolife or other over the counter diet aids
- Controlled substances
What if I relapse?
You may relapse during this program, but that just means you have more work to do. It does not necessarily mean, however, that you will be terminated from the program. The Drug Court team understands that addiction is a devastating disease which consumes you. All we ask is that you are honest and tell us if it happens. That way the team can make sure the program is fitting your needs, or if you need something different or something more.
What are grounds for termination from MENTAL HEALTH COURT?
If you are terminated from MENTAL HEALTH COURT you will appear before the assigned District Judge for possible imposition of sentence and service of the remaindder of your prison sentence in the state penitentiary.
What if I know that another MHC client is breaking the program rules?
Participants of the MHC should maintain group accountability by reporting any rule violations. If one client knows that another client is breaking the rules and doesn't report it, bothclients could be sanctioned including loss of phase points.
What are my conditions of probation in MHC?
The standard conditions of probation in MHC are as follows.
- Should I be terminated from the treatment program, I will be sentenced by the Court based upon my admission to the probation violation(s) (or if a new charge, based upon my guilty plea).
- Shall participate in and complete the MHC Personal Recovery Program as designed by my treatment provider to the satisfaction of the Court.
- Shall not knowingly associate with persons using or possessing controlled substances and shall not associate with any person(s) the Court or probations officer specifically restricts me from associationg with.
- Shall not work with any police agency on drug cases or cases where I may come into contact with controlled substances. I may voluntarily provide historical informaition to a police agency regarding my involvement with controlled substances.
- Pay a non-refundable participation fee in an amount to be determined based on ability to pay, not to exceed $300.00 per month. Should i be terminated from the program for any reason, the participation fee and any unpaid treatment costs will still be due and owing.
- Any failure of the treatment program (including but not limited to positive urinalysis tests, missing treatment, violation of release conditions, commission of a new crime) may result in modification of the treatment program, release conditions, revocations of my release, and/or termination from the program.
- Seek and maintain employment or obtain employment counseling, complete high school or obtain a G.E.D. as directed by the Court. Must be employed fulltime or alternative as ordered by your probation officer.
- Appear in court for any scheduled hearings regardless of my compliance with the treatment program.
- Length of time of participation in the program is ordinarily 14 months, but the Court may extend the program to allow me additional time to successfully complete my program requirements.
- Report any change of address and/or phone number to the Court and my treatment provider within 48 hours. I must get permission from my probation officer prior to moving.
- Submit to random urinalysis testing at my own expense. Any unpaid tests at termination will still be due and owing.
- Maintain regular contact with my attorney
- Appear for all court dates, including a drug court first appearance
- Remain in Kootenai County, except for employment, court, or family visitation purposes with permission of your Probation Officer. Permission must be obtained 5 days prior to leaving.
- Commit no law violations.
- Shall not possess or use a police band scanner.
- Report all law enforcement contacts immediately to probation officer (ANY contact even if not arrested or cited).
- Not use or possess any non-prescribed substance(s) or lcohol. All prescriptions must be shown to probation officer, treatment personnel and drug testing personnel immediately upon receipt.
- If you have a current prescription, you must take any prescribed medications in the prescribed dosages at the prescribed times.
- Not use or possess any substances intended to alter the results of a test of my blood, breath, or urine. All positive, adulterated or diluted UA's are considered to be positive.
- Shall report to/be available for contact with probation officer, counselor, and treatment provider.
- Shall not use, possess, or sell any illegal controlled usbstances or drug paraphernalia.
- Shall obey all geographic restrictions set forth by the MHC Judge or probation officer.
- Shall be prohibited from possessing a weapon or look-alike weapon or ammunition.
- Consent to interviews in residence upon request of counselor, treatment provider or probation officer.
- Consent to interviews in residence upon request of counselor, treatment provider, or probation officer.
- Shall not take any health supplements or herbal pills, powders, or "remedies." Only allowed one brand name over-the-counter daily multi-vitamin unless doctor prescribed. Also shall not consume any poppy seed products.
- Cannot go to any local casino.
- May not enter any establishments wherein the primary source of income is the dispensing of alcoholic beverages (NO BARS, LIQUOR STORES, OR TAVERNS).
- Must abide by 10:00 p.m. curfew unless receiving prior permission or curfew change by probation officer.
- Must live in Kootenai County.
- Upon entry into the program, you will review each one of these conditions with your probation officer and initial each one.