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(p. 83) Mental Health Courts 

(p. 83) Mental Health Courts
(p. 83) Mental Health Courts

David DeMatteo

, Kirk Heilbrun

, Alice Thornewill

, and Shelby Arnold

Page of

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date: 24 February 2020

This chapter focuses on mental health courts, a problem-solving court that developed in the wake of drug courts to address the needs of offenders with mental health diagnoses or co-occurring mental health and substance abuse concerns. In this chapter, the authors first review the overrepresentation of individuals with mental illness in the criminal justice system. They then describe the history and current state of mental health courts in the United States. The chapter then provides a detailed summary of the research on mental health courts. Although there is considerably less research on mental health courts than on drug courts, the available research provides reason to be cautiously optimistic. Within this discussion, the authors also note the limitations in mental health court research. Finally, the authors conclude the chapter with a discussion of innovative mental health court practices and the future of mental health courts.

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