A. CREATION OF SPECIALIZED DOCKET – MENTAL HEALTH COURT (“MHC”):
This Court intends to create a specialized docket program, pursuant to the specialized
docket standards set forth in Sup.R. 36.20 – 36.28, including Appendix I. The purpose of the
MHC is to offer intensive probation and targeted treatment for offenders who have been
diagnosed with a serious mental illness, where such illness contributed to the offender’s
involvement in the criminal justice system.
The goals of the MHC are as follows:
1. Improve participants’ overall access to and compliance with treatment.
2. Reduce recidivism among offenders with a serious mental illness.
3. Establish stability, accountability for actions, and continued mental health.
4. Reduce homelessness of participants of the specialized docket.
5. Reduce participants’ jail/prison/institutional bed days.
B. THE MHC TEAM:
The “MHC Team” shall consist of the Judge assigned to MHC (“MHC Judge”), the Program
Coordinators, Adult Probation Department Manager and staff, a designated Probation
Officer, licensed treatment providers, community based employment program personnel,
the Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, and Defense Counsel. The MHC Team shall convene bimonthly
to discuss the progress and status of individual offenders, apply sanctions or
incentives as needed, and for any other matters.
C. ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA FOR MHC ADMISSION:
1. The assigned Judge may order a defendant to MHC through a guilty or no contest plea,
probation violation, judicial release, other early release options, or ILC.
2. In order for a defendant to be eligible for the MHC, the defendant must meet certain
legal and clinical eligibility requirements. These requirements are as follows:
a. Legal eligibility:
i. Offenders who are current residents of Montgomery County, Ohio.
ii. Offenders who are charged with one or more felonies.
iii. Offenders may be considered for admission to the MHC pre-plea, postconviction,
or as a result of a probation violation.
iv. All offenders are required to enter a guilty plea prior to admission to the MHC
and acknowledge having a serious mental illness that requires treatment.
v. If eligible, offenders may complete MHC as an Intervention in Lieu of Conviction.
Otherwise, offenders will be admitted on community control.
vi. Offenders eligible for judicial release may also be considered.
vii. Offenders who have a history of persistent reoffending that is unrelated to their
mental health diagnoses are ineligible.
viii. Offenders who have a history of serious or repetitive violence are generally
ix. Individuals determined to be legally incompetent are ineligible.
x. Crimes involving child victims will likely render the offender ineligible.
xi. Sexually oriented offenses and violent offenses involving a victim with a serious
injury will likely disqualify an offender.
Prior to admission, each offender’s criminal background will be thoroughly
reviewed. A history of serious or repetitive violence, including domestic violence
convictions where physical harm or weapons were involved, will likely exclude an
offender from the MHC. Such a determination will be left to the discretion of the
MHC Judge in accordance with the written policies governing the MHC. An
offender’s criminal history will always be considered in assessing the offender’s risk
to the staff and the community.
Any issues regarding competency shall be resolved before an offender can enter the
b. Clinical eligibility:
i. To be admitted to MHC, participants must have been diagnosed with a serious
mental illness, including, but not limited to, the following:
(1) Schizophrenia, Schizoaffective Disorder (bipolar or depressive), Bipolar
Disorder, Major Depressive Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Panic
Disorder, or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, as diagnosed by a licensed
provider and as described in the most current edition of the DSM (Diagnostic
and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders).
ii. Participants must also have the cognitive ability to understand the
expectations of MHC and to voluntarily enter into the program, as determined
by a licensed provider.
Meeting the aforementioned legal and clinical eligibility criteria does not result in
automatic admission to the MHC. Admission to the program is within the sole
discretion of the MHC Judge in accordance with the written policies and procedures
governing the program and based upon the recommendations of licensed providers.
D. REFERRING DEFENDANTS TO MHC:
1. Entry into the MHC shall be upon the referral from judges, attorneys, case managers,
probation officers, or others. All referral information shall be immediately sent to the
MHC Judge or MHC judicial staff.
2. The MHC Judge shall have final discretion to decide if the defendant is eligible for the
After a defendant is admitted to the MHC as a community control sanction or an ILC, along
with any other appropriate sanctions, the MHC Judge shall have authority over any and all
further court proceedings. The MHC Judge shall have the authority to conduct
arraignments, accept pleas, enter findings and dispositions, revoke community control or
ILC, and order or modify community control sanctions or ILC.
F. TREATMENT PHASES:
MHC offenders shall be required to complete four phases of treatment, as individually
necessary, and complete all other requirements as identified in the MHC Participant
Handbook and MHC Participation Agreement. MHC offenders shall comply with all the rules
and expectations set forth in the Participant Handbook and as indicated by the MHC Judge
at each offender’s initial appearance. While in MHC, the offender shall receive treatment
services to attain stability of mental health symptoms and assist in meeting criminogenic
needs. Upon graduation, the offender may be required to remain under community control
or ILC sanctions to ensure continued compliance and success.
G. SANCTIONS FOR NON-COMPLIANCE:
Sanctions for a MHC offender’s non-compliance shall vary in intensity and may include, but
are not limited to, the following:
1. Warnings and admonitions from the MHC Judge;
2. Imposition of requirements or restrictions from an earlier MHC phase;
3. Increased frequency of drug or alcohol testing and court appearances;
4. Increased supervision contacts and monitoring;
5. Community service or work program;
6. Jail or out of home placement;
7. Community control or ILC violation;
8. Termination from MHC; and
9. Commitment to S.T.O.P., MonDay Community Correctional Facility, or any other
community based facility approved by the MHC.
H. UNSUCCESSFUL TERMINATIONS:
1. Reasons for termination from the MHC include, but are not limited to:
a. Failure to remain clean from illegal substances or alcohol;
b. Violation of the General Conditions of Supervision;
c. Violation of any community control or ILC sanctions; and
d. Failure to comply with the MHC Participation Agreement, the MHC Participant
Handbook, or any other orders from the MHC Judge.
2. If an offender is terminated from MHC for reasons stated in subsection (H)(1) of this
Rule, or for any other reasons as determined by the MHC Judge, the offender may be
subject to a community control or ILC revocation hearing.
3. If a hearing is required pursuant to subsection (H)(2) of this Rule:
a. The MHC Judge shall adjudicate the proceedings;
b. The offender may have his or her community control or ILC sanctions modified.
Modification may include, but are not limited to, commitment to a CBCF, revocation
of community control or ILC, or termination from MHC;
c. The MHC Judge shall have the sole discretion to refer an offender to the originally
assigned Judge for further proceedings; and
d. The laws governing revocation apply, and the offender has a right to counsel.
I. STATISTICAL REPORTS:
For purposes of Supreme Court statistical reports, the case shall be considered disposed by
the assigned Judge when the defendant is sentenced to MHC or the defendant is ordered
into MHC as a condition of ILC.