How Do Mental Health Courts Work?




Marvin S. Swartz, M.D.

Psychiatric Services

September 1, 2014



Mental health courts (MHCs), relative newcomers in the growing field of problem-solving courts, certainly seem like a good idea. Judges with special interest in justice-involved persons with mental illness clear court dockets for sessions focused on this selected group of arrestees, on the theory that treatment will reduce their criminal justice contacts. Using a variety of tools, the judges coach, cajole, and sometimes sanction the arrestees until they consistently engage in treatment, are less symptomatic, and avoid criminal justice contact.



Full article at






Human Services and Justice Coordinating Committee