Mental Health Court – General Information
Mental Health Court is every Tuesday at 2:30 pm in Courtroom 102 in the Juvenile Services Building located at 609 West 10th Street, Medford, OR 97501
Questions: Contact the MHC Coordinator at 541.776 7171 ext 215 or email MHCOURT@jacksoncounty.org
Mental Health Court Program Description
Jackson County Mental Health Court is available to defendants charged with a crime in Jackson County Circuit Court who have a serious and persistent mental illness that appears to be the primary factor in the person’s involvement with the criminal justice system. Mental Health Court provides a highly structured, supervised opportunity for eligible defendants to pursue mental health treatment, stability and independent well-being under intensive supervision of a multi-disciplinary team. Acceptance into the Mental Health Court Program is by “open referral.” A person can refer himself or herself to Mental Health Court. And any agency or person can refer a potential candidate to Mental Health Court.
Detailed eligibility criteria are available from the Mental Health Court Coordinator and online at the Jackson County Circuit Court website. The open referral process and all necessary forms and documents are also available from the Mental Health Court Coordinator and online at the Jackson County Circuit Court website.
Four Phase Program
Progression through Jackson County Mental Health Court occurs through a Four Phase System. Each phase is organized around a central purpose (i.e., Stability, Maintenance, Wellness and Healthy Choices, Healthy Lifestyle) and involves activities to help participants progress in that area. Expectations within each phase may be individualized at the discretion of the Mental Health Court Team and with final approval by the judge. Progress is evaluated regularly by the Mental Health Court Team. Participants are expected to be in Mental Health Court for at least one year.
At the beginning of the program, more treatment opportunities and accountability reviews are expected. As participants progress through phases, they assume more self-determination and accept more personal responsibility. A key component of all phases is honesty; participants are expected to be truthful with the Mental Health Court Team throughout the process.
Phase I: Stability
The purpose of Phase I is to establish a partnership with participants toward the shared goal of stability. This phase emphasizes helping participants obtain stable housing, create routines to assist in daily activities, and begin mental health treatment. If indicated, substance abuse treatment may also be required. Treatment may include regular, frequent individual and group therapy sessions and weekly, random urinalysis/drug testing.
During this phase, participants are required to attend court every week and/or meet weekly with a member of the Mental Health Court Team.
Participants are expected to remain abstinent from alcohol and other drugs and to take psychiatric medications as prescribed. Thirty (30) consecutive days of sobriety and medication compliance are required to move to Phase II. Participants are also expected to comply with probation conditions, have 30 consecutive days sanction-free, and to be honest with the Mental Health Court Team.
Phase II: Maintenance
The purpose of Phase II is to maintain the stability established in Phase I and to continue developing strengths and supports. This phase emphasizes continuation in mental health and substance abuse treatment, maintenance of stable housing, progress toward employment or education, continuing compliance with probation requirements, and no new arrests.
Participants are required to attend court and/or meet with a member of the Mental Health Court Team at least every other week. Ninety (90) consecutive days of sobriety and medication compliance are required to move to Phase III, in addition to remaining sanction-free.
Phase III: Wellness
The purpose of Phase III is to support the participant in moving from maintenance to wellness through a process of defining life goals and solidifying wellness practices into one’s daily routines. Additionally, during this phase, participants develop a plan to complete court obligations, including, if applicable, payment of restitution and court fees, and completion of community service. Ideas for a Phase IV service project can be developed during this time.
Participants are expected to attend court and/or meet with a member of the Mental Health Court Team at least one time per month.
Participants are expected to remain arrest free, engaged in treatment, stably housed and working towards educational or employment related goals. Abstinence and medication compliance are likewise expected. Participants are working towards 4 months (120 consecutive days) of being sanction-free, maintaining their sobriety and medication compliance, appropriately using mental health services, and complying with psychiatric recommendations. Honesty with the Mental Health Court Team remains a key requirement.
Phase IV: Healthy Choices, Healthy Lifestyle
The purpose of Phase IV is for participants to begin giving back as a way of consolidating and deepening the gains they have made. With input and approval from the Mental Health Court Team, participants will complete a service project of their choosing. The service project is an opportunity for the participant to share her/his talent and skills in making a service contribution to the community. Completion of Phase IV is contingent upon satisfaction of the service project requirement and maintenance of wellness practices established in Phase III.
All of the expectations of Phase III remain in place: medication compliance, abstinence from substance use, engagement in treatment, stable housing, progression towards employment or educational goals, complete honesty and treatment court attendance per the judge’s recommendation. Participants should continue to remain sanction-free, maintain their sobriety, and continue the appropriate use of mental health services. Pending court matters should be resolved, including payment of court fees and restitution, and completion of any required community service. An ongoing wellness plan developed between the participant and their natural/outside supports is a final requirement of the program.
Graduation from the Mental Health Court Program celebrates successful completion of Phase IV.