Mental Health Court
To be eligible to participate in the Mental health Court (MHC) program, you must:
- Have the capacity to manage the structure of MHC: You must be able to read, write, and understand information given to you, You must have a current mental health diagnosis. Bipolar Disorder, Severe Depression, and Schizophrenia are eligible diagnoses. Other diagnosed conditions will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
- Have a criminal history and be identified as having mental illness for wich treatment attempts have been unsuccessful.
You may be excluded from applying for the MHC program if you are a "violent offender." A "violent offender" is a person who is currently charged with or has been convicted of an offense during the course of which offense or conduct:
- The person carried, possessed or used a firearm or dangerous weapon
- There occurred the death of, or serious bodily injury to any person
- There occurred the use of force against the person of another, without regard to whether any of the circumstances described in sub-paragraph (a) of (b) is an element of the offense or conduct of which or for which the person is charged or convicted
- Have one or more prior convictions for a felony crime of violence involving the use or attempted use of force against a person with the intent to cause death or serious bodily harm
If you have a history of incarceration for violent crime, the facts will be reviewed and examined by the MHC team to determine if your crimes were not truly violent incidents, despite the seriousness of the charge, and that the offense was linked to mental illness.
You will be excluded from applying for the MHC program if: You are currently charged with, have plead guilty to, or been found guilty of a felony in which you committed, attempted to commit, conspired to commit, or intended to commit a sex offense.
Accessing the Mental Health Court Program
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 submitted 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.
The Mental Health Court (MHC) in Kootenai County will strive to reduce recidivism of offenders in the criminal justice system who have a controlled substance addiction and a mental illness. The MHC provides community protection with a cost-effective, integrated continuum of care through the development and utilization of community resources. The MHC holds defendants accountable and assists offenders to achieve long-term stability, become law-abiding citizens, and become successful family/community members.
The MHC program has been developed to help you achieve stability in your life. The program is designed to promote self-sufficiency and to return you to the community as a productive and responsible citizen. The judge, probation officer, treatment provider, and community resources are present to guide and assist you, but the final responsibility is yours.