Mental Health Community Court

In FY 2011, PSA worked collaboratively with the D.C. Superior Court, the U.S. Attorney’s Office (USAO), and the defense bar to expand the mental health services and diversion opportunities provided in the D.C. Superior Court Mental Health Community Court (MHCC) to defendants who have been charged with certain non-violent felony offenses. Previously, such diversion options were only available to defendants with misdemeanor charges. The MHCC evolved from the Mental Health Diversion Court, an effort that began in the fall of 2007.

PSA assesses and makes recommendations for placement, provides close supervision, and connects participants to services through the D.C. Department of Behavioral Health. The vast majority of defendants certified to the MHCC are dual-diagnosed, requiring both mental health and substance use disorder treatment. The USAO offers the MHCC as an option if the defendant is engaged in appropriate treatment services. When defendants complete the program successfully, their criminal charges are dismissed.