The Frederick County District Court’s Mental Health Court Program (MHCP) strives to compassionately and effectively address the needs of individuals with mental disorders in the criminal justice system by connecting participants to comprehensive and individualized treatment supports and services in the community. The MHCP is a post-plea, pre-sentence specialty court. The court project is a widely collaborative, community-based effort committed to providing access to resources, training, and expertise to address the unique needs of this population.
Through intensive supervision, collaboration among the community partners and behavioral health services, the goal is to achieve and maintain stability of the individual’s mental illness and to keep them out of jail and on the path to being a positive, contributing member of the community.
GOAL #1: Decrease the frequency of participants’ contacts with the criminal justice system and improve public safety by reducing criminal recidivism
GOAL #2: Improve the quality of life of people with mental illnesses by increasing their participation in effective treatment, improve social functioning, employment linkage, housing needs, etc.
GOAL #3: Reduce court and corrections-related costs through administrative efficiencies and by providing an alternative to incarceration.
Only non-violent offenders with a diagnosed mental health illness qualify for the Program. Once referred and accepted into the program, the individual must plead guilty to their crime and sentencing is postponed to give them time to successfully complete the Mental Health Court Program. Upon successful completion, the participant will be placed on a period of supervised probation as they transition out of the program and back into the community. If not successful, the case will be set in for sentencing and proceed through the normal course of action.
- Frederick County resident
- 18 years or older
- Diagnosed or assessed to be suffering from or impaired by a mental illness
- Deemed competent
- Willing and able to participate in the MHCP
Charged with low-level offenses including, but not limited to:
- Shoplifting and other types of theft
- Public Urination
- Disorderly Conduct
- Second degree assault
The State’s Attorney’s Office may also screen and qualify less serious, nonviolent felonies, such as forgery and burglary. Violent crimes that have caused serious injury to a victim will not be considered.
- Applicant has a pending Violation of Probation outside of Frederick County District Court, a detainer, pending sentencing hearing or outstanding warrant in any jurisdiction that will interfere with treatment or other program requirements.
- Applicant is charged with a violent or other ineligible crime, as requested by the State’s Attorney’s Office.
- Applicant’s mental health or medical issues would prevent them from full participation (signed contract) in the MHCP.
For Questions About the Program:
Joyce King, Chief Counsel JKing1@statesattorney.us
Mike Moore, Chief of District Court Division MMoore3@statesattorney.us
Jessie Roberson, Community and Program Legal Office Associate JRoberson@statesattorney.us