What is Mental Health Court?
Mental Health Court, also called Community Treatment Court (CTC), is an alternative presented by our criminal justice system for individuals who have committed crimes because of an underlying mental illness. It operates on the premise that that these individuals would better be served by a system that encourages their rehabilitation, rather than a system that simply punishes criminal acts. Rehabilitation goes to the root of the problem with many offences, and can act as a preventative measure against the reoccurrence of criminal behaviour. Community Treatment Court also addresses individuals who are facing criminal charges stemming from substance abuse issues. An experienced criminal lawyer can talk with you to see if Mental Health Court is appropriate fro your circumstances.
How Can I Access Mental Health Court?
To have a matter heard in Community Treatment Court, there are certain criteria an individual must meet. For Hamilton matters, a Mental Health Court Worker will first assess the individual to ensure that they are an appropriate candidate for their matters to be moved to CTC. The Crown Attorney’s approval is also necessary before the matters can be moved. In addition, the matter must be one which is not a high-risk offence and the situation must be one where the individual suffers from a serious mental health issues. Most importantly, the individual in question must accept being sent to CTC.
When an individual is accepted into CTC, they attend court periodically, and the court monitors the individual’s progress in dealing with their mental health issues. When treatment has concluded the charges against the individual may be withdrawn. Mental Health court has proven to be extremely help for those suffering from Mental Health issues who due to their illness become involved in the court system.