Centre County Behavioral Health Court
What is Behavioral Health Court?
The Centre County Behavioral Health Court is a Specialty Treatment Court Program for criminal offenders diagnosed with a Serious Mental Illness who need long-term, highly structured Mental Health Treatment and Intensive Supervision.
Behavioral Health Court is a collaboration between the criminal justice system and the mental health system to address the growing number of individuals diagnosed with a Serious Mental Illness (SMI) who are involved in the criminal justice system.
Behavioral Health Court is a non-adversarial program addressing the specific treatment and ancillary needs of individuals placed in the program, while at the same time holding Participants accountable for their actions and assisting them to achieve long-term stability, enhance public safety and reduce recidivism. Participation in Behavioral Health Court is voluntary.
Participant can decide not to be involved at any time. However, if the Participant chooses to remove themselves from the program (or is terminated) the traditional Court process will resume.
Behavioral Health Court Application Process
If a Defendant wishes to apply for Behavioral Health Court, immediately following their preliminary hearing or waiver thereof, or as soon thereafter as is practical, counsel for the Defendant (or Defendant if unrepresented) will obtain a Behavioral Health Court application, which is to be completed and returned to the Specialty Court Coordinator (Probation/Parole Department).
Behavioral Health Court applications should be completed by counsel for the Defendant (or Defendant if unrepresented).
When submitting an application for Behavioral Health Court, the following documents must be included in the application packet:
- Behavioral Health Court application
- Release of Information for the Centre County Behavioral Health Court Team
- Release of Information for Centre County MH/ID/EI and Drug and Alcohol
- Confirmation of a qualifying diagnosis (within the past 2 years).
- If available: psychiatric evaluation(s), psychological evaluation(s), progress notes from a treating physician, a letter from a treating psychologist/psychiatrist indicating the diagnosis, period of treatment and level of compliance.
All required documents listed above must be submitted to the Specialty Court Coordinator within three business days of signing. Failure to complete the necessary forms may delay the review and/or acceptance of the referral into the program.