Mental Health Court Info - PD19 - Office of the Public Defender - 19th Circuit

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Specialty Courts

The 19th Judicial Circuit has established Mental Health Courts in St. Lucie, Indian River, Martin and Okeechobee Counties. Mental Health Court saves lives, saves money and provides better public safety for the citizens of our communities.

The Court is for persons diagnosed with a severe mental illness or developmental disability, and charged with either a misdemeanor or felony. The program provides court supervision and treatment through collaboration with state, county, and community agencies. The Court is therapeutic and provides case management, therapy and other services designed to promote involvement in treatment (including therapy, substance abuse and vocational rehab) and to improve the client’s overall quality of life; promote independent living; and reduce recidivism for clients with mental health disorders.  Defendants can enter Mental Health Court as part of a diversion, as a condition of probation or as part of an Incompetent to Proceed or Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity conditional release plan.  Participants who enter Mental Health Court as a diversion may have their criminal charges dismissed upon successful completion of the program.  

Florida Statutes designate which cases may be diverted to Mental Health Court, if you suffer from a diagnosed mental health disorder or intellectual disability you can speak to your attorney about the possibility of entering Mental Health Court.

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