Since 2006, the CSG Justice Center has worked in partnership with the U.S. Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) to highlight agencies with comprehensive criminal justice-mental health programs willing to share their expertise with other criminal justice and mental health agencies and organizations.
A mental health court (MHC) is a court-based program that brings together members of criminal justice and behavioral health systems, among others, to work with people with mental illnesses who face criminal charges. The number of MHCs in the U.S. has grown exponentially in the past two decades. State and local officials who have recently launched, or are considering whether to launch, such programs in their jurisdictions often seek out more experienced MHCs for guidance and advice.
To facilitate peer-to-peer assistance among jurisdictions that have established or are planning to establish MHCs, BJA, through its technical assistance provider, the CSG Justice Center, has designated four jurisdictions as MHC “learning sites.”
BJA-designated MHC learning sites represent diverse court models across the country. These sites host visits from other jurisdictions, answer questions from the field, and work with BJA and the CSG Justice Center to assess and improve their own program operations. Each has demonstrated an ability to provide guidance and advance the field, while maintaining flexibility in their program design to meet their communities’ needs.