A Guide to the Role of Crime Victims in Mental Health Courts

a guide to mental health courtsThis guide from the Council of State Governments Justice Center details how the nontraditional operations of mental health courts contribute to limited victims’ rights policies and recommends practical solutions for improving them. The guide, created for stakeholders involved in either planning or operating these specialized courts, is intended to highlight the potential role of crime victims in mental health courts. It addresses the challenges court teams face in trying to involve victims and the reasons to devote time and energy to overcoming them. The guide offers concrete steps communities can take to ensure that the interests and needs of crime victims are reflected in court policies and practice, and includes examples of how some mental health and other specialty courts have successfully addressed this challenge.