Behavioral Sciences & the Law

Skip to Search

Skip to Navigation

Early View Articles

Mental health courts and forensic assertive community treatment teams as correctional diversion programs

Problem‐solving courts (PSCs) developed as a means of mandating treatment and judicial supervision of certain types of court participants. PSCs have rapidly expanded in number and type over several decades. Mental health courts (MHCs) are a type of PSC that arose in response to the growing number of persons with mental illness within the criminal justice system. Their primary role is to divert individuals with mental illness from incarceration into psychiatric treatment and to reduce recidivism while improving psychosocial functioning of participants. Although different in history, philosophy, and program structure, forensic assertive community treatment (FACT) programs serve a similar goal of reducing recidivism and improving functioning in persons with mental illness who are involved with the criminal justice system. FACTs may be used as a standalone diversion option or be linked with a MHC as a form of intensive treatment and monitoring. Suggestions for future research and evaluation of these programs are offered.

Add This link

Bookmark and Share>