Mental Health Courts: A Guide to Research-Informed Policy and Practice

mental health courtsThis guide from the Council of State Governments Justice Center, funded by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, reviews the design and function of mental health courts, outcomes of mental health court participation, and questions and implications for policy and practice. The guide is intended to assist policymakers and practitioners in assessing the utility of mental health courts; after briefly describing who participates in the courts and how they function the guide reviews research findings that address the extent to which mental health courts have been found to achieve their stated goals. Because mental health courts were relatively new at the time of publication many unanswered questions remained as to how they worked, for whom, and under what circumstances; these outstanding research questions are highlighted in the final portion of the guide.