Module 7: Facilitating the Success of Mental Health Court Participants

Developing a Mental Health Court: An Interdisciplinary Curriculum is a free online multimedia curriculum for individuals and teams seeking to start, maintain, or just learn about mental health courts.

Module 7: Facilitating the Success of Mental Health Court Participants provides suggestions for mental health court team members for monitoring and interacting with program participants to increase their likelihood of meeting program requirements and progressing toward recovery.

Learning Objectives

  1. Articulate principles that research shows are effective in modifying behavior
  2. Describe how these principles inform your role on the mental health court team
  3. Develop policies and procedures that apply these principles to your mental health court

Prep Work

Provides background reading to introduce you to the topics discussed in this module. All resources are available for free online. You will need access to a computer to complete this step. Estimated completion time: 30 minutes

Presentation


Module 7: Facilitating the Success of Mental Health Court Participants
Developing a Mental Health Court: An Interdisciplinary Curriculum is a free online multimedia curriculum for individuals and teams seeking to start, maintain, or just learn about mental health courts.

Quiz

Reinforces your knowledge of the concepts you learned in the module. You will need access to a computer to complete this step. Estimated completion time: 10 minutes

Questions

7.1 Which of the following team members should learn about the research on modifying an individual’s behavior to facilitate participants’ success? Check all that apply.

      

7.2 True or False: Procedural justice has been shown to positively affect individuals’ perceptions of the justice system – even when judges’ decisions are counter to the individuals’ interests.

  

7.3 True or False: Balancing equal parts of positive encouragement and strict penalties has been shown to dramatically change the behavior of individuals under community supervision.

  

7.4 In which of the following ways could a new mental health court develop “incentives and sanctions?” Check all that apply.

    

7.5 Why are mental health courts hesitant to use jail as a sanction? Check all that apply.

    

Answers

7.1  Correct answer: a, b, c, d, e, and f. All team members may have an impact on participants’ success and could benefit from awareness of current research on behavior modification.

7.2  Correct answer: True. Procedural justice is a term for the level of fairness, reason, and transparency involved in the process of decision-making. Initial research shows promising results that the perception of justice, or fair treatment, may contribute to positive outcomes among mental health court participants.

7.3  Correct answer: False. Research has shown that maximum behavioral change is achieved when forms of negative reinforcement such as strict penalties are outweighed by forms of positive encouragement in a ratio of 4 to 1.

7.4  Correct answer: a, b, and d. The Additional Resources section of this module lists several useful case planning resources (a). In addition to working directly with participants, team members may also use focus groups to help assess what participants are likely to perceive to be rewards and punishments (b). Incentives and sanctions should be tailored to individual participants (d).

7.5  Correct answer: a, b, and c.Incarceration may increase an individual’s level of anxiety (a), incur large costs (b), and/or sever or hinder his/her relationships in the community (c).

Activities Guide

Gives you an opportunity to apply the knowledge you acquired from this module’s Prep Work and Presentation and develop resources and processes tailored to your program. You will view videos of an actual court team, discuss issues with your teammates, complete worksheets, and more. Some of the Activities will be completed on your own and others as a group. You may want to print the Activities Guide, although you will also need access to a computer (with Adobe Flash Player installed) to view the accompanying videos. Estimated completion time: 2-3 hours

These Activities are designed to prompt discussion among your team about how you will interact as a single unit. Each Activity contains questions and worksheets to complete. One of the Activities in this module requires that you watch short video segments of a mental health court team in action. The Activities include components you will complete on your own and others to be completed as a group. At the end of the Activities, you will be asked to list three main issues that the Activities have raised for your own program planning.

Download the Activities Guide.

Videos

These videos feature members of the Bonneville County (ID) Mental Health Court team, a real mental health court team and a Bureau of Justice Assistance Mental Health Court Learning Site, engaging in simulated team meetings and discussing hypothetical program participants. Other videos feature hypothetical program participants making simulated court appearances. The Bonneville team is not shown as a “model;” for example, some may note the absence of a defense attorney at team meetings. Rather, the Bonneville team represents real people facing real challenges in a mental health court setting.

Meet the mental health court case study team members.

You will be prompted to view these videos in the Activities Guide. You may also link directly to each video from the Activities Guide.

Module 7: Jane Taylor – Staffing Meeting
Developing a Mental Health Court: An Interdisciplinary Curriculum is a free online multimedia curriculum for individuals and teams seeking to start, maintain, or just learn about mental health courts.
Module 7: Jane Taylor – Court Appearance
Developing a Mental Health Court: An Interdisciplinary Curriculum is a free online multimedia curriculum for individuals and teams seeking to start, maintain, or just learn about mental health courts.
Module 7: Val Harris Case Staffing
Developing a Mental Health Court: An Interdisciplinary Curriculum is a free online multimedia curriculum for individuals and teams seeking to start, maintain, or just learn about mental health courts.
Module 7: Val Harris Court Appearance
Developing a Mental Health Court: An Interdisciplinary Curriculum is a free online multimedia curriculum for individuals and teams seeking to start, maintain, or just learn about mental health courts.

Additional Resources

Policy and Practice Guides

“A Handbook for Developing a Mental Health Court Docket.” The Supreme Court of Ohio and the Ohio Judicial System. n.d. This handbook offers an overview of contingency management and responses to engage program participants. Page 37 describes a range of responses commonly used by mental health court dockets to applaud adaptive behavior.
Available here

Bogue, Bradford, and Anjali Nandi. Motivational Interviewing in Corrections: A Comprehensive Guide to Implementing MI in Corrections. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice, National Institute of Corrections, 2012. This guide provide an overview for correctional treatment staff of motivational interviewing (MI)—a counseling technique used to change maladaptive behavior—and exercises to practice and improve MI technique.
Available here

Bogue, Bradford, and Anjali Nandi. Exercises for Developing MI Skills in Corrections. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice, National Institute of Corrections, 2012. This guide provide an overview for correctional treatment staff of motivational interviewing (MI)—a counseling technique used to change maladaptive behavior—and exercises to practice and improve MI technique.
Available here

Callahan, Lisa, and Heathcote W. Wales. “Mental Health Courts Research Roundup: Applying Research to Practice.” This March 2013 webinar provides an overview of emerging research on mental health courts and its implications for selecting target populations, collecting data, sustaining programs, and more.
Available here

Council of State Governments Justice Center. A Guide to Mental Health Court Design and Implementation. New York, NY: Council of State Governments Justice Center, 2008. See esp. Step III, page 72, “Rewarding adherence.” Page 72 of this guide provides mental health court practitioners with advice and techniques to reward adherence and facilitate participants’ success.
Available here

Marlowe, Douglas B., and William G. Meyer, eds. The Drug Court Judicial Benchbook. Alexandria, VA: National Drug Court Institute, 2011. See esp. Chapter 7, Section XII, “Noncompliance vs. Nonresponsiveness.” This guide (Chapter 7, Section XII) presents scenarios of noncompliance and non-responsiveness among drug court participants, along with appropriate responses.
Available here

National Association of Counties. Reentry for Safe Communities. Washington, DC: National Association of Counties and The Bureau of Justice Assistance, 2008. This report highlights six county programs recognized for innovative and collaborative approaches to transition planning from jail for individuals with co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders.
Available here

Program Examples

Bloom, Barbara, Barbara Owen, and Stephanie Covington. Gender-Responsive Strategies: Research, Practice, and Guiding Principles for Women Offenders. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice, National Institute of Corrections, 2002. This publication offers criminal justice and behavioral health practitioners guidance on gender-responsive treatment options and interventions for female offenders.
Available here

Bonneville County Mental Health Court. “Contingency Management Plan,” 2014. This document is a de-identified example of a Contingency Management Plan developed by the Bonneville County Mental Health Court team for use with a program participant.
Available here

Center for Substance Abuse Treatment. Enhancing Motivation for Change in Substance Abuse Treatment Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP) Series, No. 35. Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (US), 1999. This publication identifies ways clinicians can encourage change among clients with substance use disorders.
Available here

Center for Substance Abuse Treatment. Treatment Drug Courts: Integrating Substance Abuse Treatment with Legal Case Processing Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP) Series, No. 23. Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (US), 1996. This publication gives an overview of integrated substance abuse treatment options during the pretrial phase.
Available here

Chatham-Savannah Mental Health Court. “Treatment Phases for Chatham-Savannah Mental Health Court,” 2008. This document is an example of the treatment phases used by the Chatham-Savannah Mental Health Court program. Note that both treatment and supervision goals are included for each phase.
Available here

Evidence-Based Sentencing Practices to Reduce Recidivism: Excerpts from the Risk-Based Progressive Sanctions and Incentives Model in Travis County. Williamsburg, VA: National Center for State Courts, 2008. The Travis County Adult Probation Department uses the Risk-Based Progressive Sanctions Model, in which offenders’ risk level guides responses to technical violations.
Available here

“Prize-Based Incentive Contingency Management for Substance Abusers.” Office of Justice Programs, Crime Solutions.gov. n.d. An evidence-based program, Prize-Based Incentive Contingency Management for Substance Abusers uses contingency management and operant conditioning to encourage abstinence from drug abuse.
Available here

Superior Court of California County of San Francisco. “Behavioral Health Court Policies and Procedures Manual.” The Bar Association of San Francisco. 2008. This manual details the range of responses used by San Francisco’s Behavioral Health Court to engage participants and facilitate their success.
Available here