Health Care Court is a Treatment Court designed for those individuals who are charged with a qualifying offense and who suffer from a mental illness which likely led to the criminal charge.
The individual must be able to meaningfully engage in the program. Participants receive psychiatric services, individual and group therapy, case management and assistance with issues as appropriate and possible, i.e. assisting a client obtain housing, obtain employment, or enroll in government services.
The Health Care Court (HCC) team consists of Judge Charles Williams, Court Program Manager Nicole Durston (right), Program Coordinator Jennifer Main (left), Public Defender Terry Drake, an assistant State Attorney, probation services, and a contracted mental health professional to provide therapy.
HCC collaborates with the Mental Health Community Center to provide clients with weekly support groups and after-care services once they have completed the program.
Group sessions offer clients a chance to work on their mental health and physical health by taking part in fitness groups and yoga, and they can express their feelings in creative ways through art and music.
Additionally, clients give back to the community by cleaning up trash and debris during group sessions.
HCC clients have received community support. Through the help of “211” and Dewitt Motors a client received a donated car and six-months of prepaid auto insurance based on his need and outstanding performance in the HCC program.
Local donations have helped clients obtain much needed items for daily living such as food and clothes, and has assisted clients in obtaining low-cost hearing aids.
Clients have an opportunity to recognize each other in the program with the “You’ve been Caught” Award, presented when a client has gone above and beyond to help another. They receive a certificate of recognition, a group pass, and their name is posted to the wall to commemorate their outstanding achievement.
On October 1, HCC will merge with Centerstone and Comprehensive Treatment Court to come under one Mental Health Court umbrella, and HCC’s program director, Jennifer Main, will move into her new role in Court Administration’s Human Resources Department.