Mental Health Court Alternative ProgramsA number of crimes are committed because a person is in the throes of mental illness. If this happens to you or someone you know, contacting a lawyer may help with getting the necessary medical help, but also keep a serious crime off your criminal record. Many counties in the Chicagoland area have developed mental health courts in accordance with 730 ILCS 168 to promote rehabilitation rather than punishment.
The purpose of mental health court is to help those whose mental illness contributed to the commission of a crime. Mental health court provides a sentence that focuses on the treatment of underlying mental illness, diverting from traditional prosecution. Not everyone is eligible for mental health court. Depending on the county, certain criminal offenses may render you ineligible for participation in certain mental health court programs. Additionally, some counties mental health court programs have residency requirements that must be met in order to participate.
Mental health courts can be an intensive one to three-year program. The timeframe can be based on a number of factors including the diagnosis and the nature of the crime. Mental health court is not just judges and attorneys. They include probation officers, mental health workers, and psychiatrists. Treatments can include individualized treatment and counseling, employment coaching and employment assistance among may other things. Successful completion of mental health court can result in outright dismissal of all charges.
Speaking to an attorney that is experienced in specialty courts is crucial to not only gain access to the court, but also gain the full benefit. At Lafata Law, our attorneys have years of experience dealing with the intersection of mental health and crime. Call us today for your free consultation.