Offering frequent news and analysis from the majestic Evergreen State and beyond, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Seattle Municipal Mental Health Court turns ten

This week, Seattle Municipal Court's Mental Health Court celebrates its tenth anniversary. Mental Health Court is what is referred to as a "therapeutic" court within the criminal justice system.

It is designed to secure housing and treatment for mentally ill persons who commit crimes in significant part because of their mental illness.

Seattle's Mental Health Court began operating in March of 1999. It was the first Municipal (city) Mental Health Court in the nation, and the fourth one overall. There are now over two hundred such courts.

The Mental Health Court "team" includes prosecutors, public defenders, social workers, other Masters level mental health professionals, police, probation, the judge and court staff, and its clientele of severely mentally ill people who need intensive supervision and opportunity to turn their lives around.

Happy anniversary!


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