Covered by NYDaily News. Las Vegas man accused of threatening a prominent attorney and making vile remarks.
Covered by New York Times, and other outlets. Fake heiress accused of conning the city’s wealthy, and has an HBO special being made about her.
Accused of stalking Alec Baldwin. The case garnered nationwide attention, with USAToday, NYPost, and other media outlets following it closely.
Juror who prompted calls for new Ghislaine Maxwell trial turns to lawyer who defended Anna Sorokin.
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Mental health courts in New York City are specialized court programs that aim to divert individuals with mental illnesses away from incarceration and into community-based treatment plans. According to the New York State Unified Court System, the goal of mental health courts is to “improve public safety by addressing the root causes of criminal behavior in a segment of the mental health population through on-going judicial supervision, court monitoring of treatment, and periodic reviews.”
To be eligible for mental health court in New York City, an individual must meet the following criteria:
According to posts on Reddit, the District Attorney ultimately decides who gets into mental health court. Factors they consider include the person’s criminal history, diagnosis, need for treatment, and risk to public safety. Judges tend to agree with the DA’s recommendations.
There are a few ways an individual can be referred to mental health court in New York City:
According to information on Avvo, once a referral is made, candidates undergo an extensive screening process, including:
Prosecutors especially look at the candidate’s current charges and criminal record to determine if they may pose a risk to public safety. Non-violent misdemeanors and felonies are more likely to get approved.
If deemed eligible, the candidate signs an agreement to participate in the specialized mental health court program. The programs last for 12-24 months on average and require the participant to adhere to an intensive community-based treatment plan instead of serving jail time.
According to the New York State Unified Court System, mental health courts provide:
The court team is made up of the judge, attorneys, court clinicians, case managers, and parole/probation officers. Together they closely monitor the participant’s compliance with court mandates and treatment plans.
Treatment plans are highly customized and may include medications, counseling, substance abuse treatment, job training, housing assistance, and other recovery-oriented services. The plans aim to address the root causes behind criminal behavior.
To graduate from mental health court in New York City, participants must complete all phases of the program, adhere to treatment plans, abstain from substances, engage in vocational/educational services, and refrain from criminal conduct.
According to information on FindLaw, upon graduation, participants may be able to get their charges lessened or dismissed. Other benefits include:
Mental health courts do not guarantee avoided incarceration or dropped charges. But for eligible participants, they provide a structured path to stability, treatment, and staying out of the criminal justice system.
Mental health courts offer eligible defendants with mental illnesses an alternative to incarceration through court-monitored treatment plans. Candidates must undergo extensive screening by court psychiatrists, judges, and attorneys who assess their risk, needs, diagnosis, charges, and willingness to participate. The programs last 12-24 months on average and feature customized community-based services. Upon graduation, participants may be able to get charges dismissed or reduced. When utilized as intended, mental health courts can improve outcomes for people with mental illnesses involved in the justice system.
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