Mental Health Courts in Kentucky KY P&A June 2014 Where are the Mental Health Courts? Louisville, Jefferson County (~72 grad-since 2003) Seven Counties Boone, Campbell and Kenton County (~54 grad since 2008) NKYU Bowling Green, Hardin County (~5 grad since 2009) Communicare Lexington, Fayette County (Currently Rolling Out) Bluegrass/ESH-UK
What is Mental Health Court? Mental Health Courts are: Specialty courts whose rules are approved by the Kentucky Supreme Court Similar to drug court/veterans courts in their diversion principles Provide Judges with an alternative to incarceration for individuals who meet MH Court admission criteria and would benefit from mental health treatment Voluntary programs that pre-trial defendants with serious mental illness, who meet admission criteria can plead into in order to avoid a criminal trial/conviction
Mental Health Court Defined The Regional Mental Health Court is an alternative sentencing court pilot program authorized by the KY SCT. MH CT combines case management, judicial oversight, treatment, mental health assessments and drug testing and includes, but is not limited to, the implementation of curfews, sanctions and incentives. Definition from the Local Rules for each of the regions approved by the Supreme Court of Kentucky. What are the admission criteria?
IN GENERAL: Verifiable Diagnosis of Serious Mental Illness Individuals Criminal Charges must be within Court Admission Criteria (Felony and Misdemeanor Courts) Individual Must be Competent Individual Must Agree to Submit to Mental Health Court Program Admission Criteria More Like Guidelines Even though Rules are in place, MH Courts exercise wide discretion on admission, re-admission and termination
Example: Jeff. Cty will permit individuals with violent charge so long as the violence is directly related to the SMI condition and precautions are put in place prior, while NKY precludes admission if violence or sex offense was apart of the criminal charge. Various Funding Sources How much does it cost???? NKY approx (three counties) 319k in 2013 Jefferson Cty 183k in 2013
Hardin Cty (no data made avail) Fayette estimates roll out budget of 45k for coordinator position All of the programs have staff whose salaries are in kind towards their time spent working mental health court dockets/cases All of the programs compete for AOC /DOC grant funding. Administration Jefferson County Jim Burch, Seven Counties CMHC 758 South First Street Louisville, KY 40202
[email protected] Phone 502-589-8949 Fax 502-589-8949 Bowling Green Stephen Hill Communicare 1311 N. Dixie Ave. Bldg. A Elizabethtown, KY 42701 [email protected] Phone (270) 734-0263 Fax 270-737-2293 Diane Hopkins
Fayette Unknown- Discussions of having BlueGrass CMHC and DPA attorney co-administer For More Information Contact John Landon with Department of Public Advocacy [email protected] Northern Kentucky Susan L. Brinkman Administrator Northern Ky Regional Mental Health Court Campbell County Courthouse 330 York Street, Room 3 Newport, KY 41071 [email protected]
859/360-7728 859/360-0582 (fax) Hearings: When & Where Jefferson County: Felony (1 pm) and Misdemeanor Docket (following) held every two weeks on Friday NKY- Boone 1st and 3rd Wed at 8:30 am, Campbell every other TH at 9:30 am, Kenton Felony 2nd and 4th Tues and Misdemeanor every other Fri at 11:00 am Bowling Green: Every Wed Felony at 12 pm/Misdemeanor at 2 pm ( Phase 1 Participants have to attend every week); Also Court holds monthly staff/Judge meeting
Hearings Process All participants, case managers, parole officers and judges sit through the whole hearing in open court room. Each participant benefits from witnessing the others progress and failures. Each participant is called forward and the Judges interview them directly. (sometimes case managers comment first and then participant is questioned after) I witnessed several participants read written essays explaining prior failures and/or plans to succeed. Case managers comment on successes and concerns, participation, any drug testing and or failure to take medications as prescribed. Judge enters sanctions and/or assignments. If, a participant has
violated term of agreement (ie committed a crime or failed drug test or failed to appear) Judge may issue warrant and or have them held in jail. I witnessed two graduations where individuals had family present to celebrate the completion of the program. Services Provided Case Management (each program provides this via different funding so it is not clear what training and or requirements are in place for the CMs) Transportation (bus pass) to medical and psychiatric apts. Counseling
Illness, Management and Recovery Group Sessions Peer support (Jeff Cty) Supported Employment (Jeff Cty) Other Services Random medication monitoring/counts Random drug and alcohol screening/testing Monitoring of program compliance Progress and hearing attendance reporting Parole Officer Referral to in-patient treatment for mental health and substance abuse
curfew Sanctions Jail Community Service Written Essays Curfew Home Incarceration Contempt Orders Removal from MH Court Program Additional Group or Individual Sessions Extra AA/NA meetings, Substance Abuse Trtmt
Ankle Monitoring Revert to Prior Phase Demotion in Program Progress Program Length NKY : Minimum time in program is one year..no maximum. Phase I you attend court every 2 weeks, phase II you attend court every month, and Phase III you are on docket every 6 weeks, Phase IV you are responsible for aftercare agreement. Hardin Cty Minimum is 18 months. There is an individual participant plan developed in phase I (6 months) of the program. You attend court every week this first 6 months. Phase II lasts 8 months and court is required every other week. Phase III is 4 months and you attend court every three
weeks. Aftercare is for 6 months, you are not required to go to court and if you remain stable you graduate. Jefferson Cty has an individualized system where court enters specific orders, requirements for each individual. Judge determines timing of when individual needs to return to court based on specific circumstances. Generally participants are in program for one year to two years max. Graduation is scheduled based on discretion of court and program administrators, treatment team. Peer Support NKY has a peer specialist who sits on their MH Court board. Jefferson Cty had a peer support specialist who worked in the
mental health court program full time and worked with individual participants but they have been transferred to working with ACT team. Hardin Cty at time of this report was not utilizing peer support workers in program. PROs Alternative to Jail Voluntary Plea Agreement (represented by counsel when you enter this agreement) System Cost Savings Access to Treatment
Dismissal of Underlying Charges upon program completion Modification of Probation upon program completion time limited Discretion to Judiciary Alternative Sentencing Cons Lack of services provided Burden of numerous court appearances Loss of Civil Rights (curfews/ testing) Competency? v. Informed Choice Jail Time v. Time In Mental Health Ct Monitored Program Sanctions
Probation for length of program? Monitoring v. Treatment Does not appear to be any formal inquiry/testing to determine whether participants have an intellectual disability or whether they might qualify for more intensive community based services KY P&A June 2014 Protection and Advocacy 100 Fair Oaks Lane, 3rd Floor Frankfort, KY 40601 [email protected] 502-564-2967
502-564-0848 (fax) Supreme Court Orders approving rules for each of the mental health courts can be reviewed via request from mental health court administrators.
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