Evaluating mental health courts as an ideal mental health intervention


By bhadmin February 2, 2021

Mental health courts (MHCs) represent a rapidly flourishing partnership between the mental health and criminal justice systems. No article to date has critically examined this new form of specialty court from the lens of the mental health system. This article will describe and evaluate MHCs against a comprehensive set of criteria that define an ideal mental health intervention, including theoretical, empirical, values-based, and pragmatic considerations. The discussion begins with the framework for identifying evidence-based practices in mental health and continues with an examination of the current evidence related to each of nine criteria of an ideal mental health intervention. In some respects, MHCs appear to offer a promising addition to mental health and criminal justice systems; however, the fast growth of MHCs across the nation may have outpaced their theoretical and empirical support.

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