Mental Health Courts




Waybourn, Travis

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Law Enforcement Management Institute of Texas (LEMIT)



The law enforcement community has to actively look where it can improve the everyday criminal justice system. This allows for innovation in the law enforcement practice. It is vital to progressively look at the revolving door of the mentally ill coming in and out of the jail system and determine a solution. Mental health research is large in mass and has several approaches for success. One of those areas of approach is development and practice of the mental health courts (MHC). Throughout this paper examples will be provided that prove mental health courts can be effective and reduce recidivism. A large proportion of the jail population suffers from mental illness (Kesten et al., 2012). The MHC can provide avenues and options to divert some offenders from jail. This is not to say some do not belong in jail. It is simply an option for the professionals of the criminal justice system to evaluate the jail population and mentally ill at the same time. The research provided will show that these courts will reduce recidivism among the mentally ill, all while providing treatment for betterment of the offender.


Mental health courts, Police services for the mentally ill