2019 Florida Statutes
Mental health court programs.
Mental health court programs.
394.47892 Mental health court programs.—
(1) Each county may fund a mental health court program under which a defendant in the justice system assessed with a mental illness shall be processed in such a manner as to appropriately address the severity of the identified mental illness through treatment services tailored to the individual needs of the participant. The Legislature intends to encourage the department, the Department of Corrections, the Department of Juvenile Justice, the Department of Health, the Department of Law Enforcement, the Department of Education, and other such agencies, local governments, law enforcement agencies, interested public or private entities, and individuals to support the creation and establishment of problem-solving court programs. Participation in a mental health court program does not relieve a public or private agency of its responsibility for a child or an adult, but enables such agency to better meet the child’s or adult’s needs through shared responsibility and resources.
(2) Mental health court programs may include pretrial intervention programs as provided in ss. 948.08, 948.16, and 985.345, postadjudicatory mental health court programs as provided in ss. 948.01 and 948.06, and review of the status of compliance or noncompliance of sentenced defendants through a mental health court program.
(3) Entry into a pretrial mental health court program is voluntary.
(4)(a) Entry into a postadjudicatory mental health court program as a condition of probation or community control pursuant to s. 948.01 or s. 948.06 must be based upon the sentencing court’s assessment of the defendant’s criminal history, mental health screening outcome, amenability to the services of the program, and total sentence points; the recommendation of the state attorney and the victim, if any; and the defendant’s agreement to enter the program.
(b) A defendant who is sentenced to a postadjudicatory mental health court program and who, while a mental health court program participant, is the subject of a violation of probation or community control under s. 948.06 shall have the violation of probation or community control heard by the judge presiding over the postadjudicatory mental health court program. After a hearing on or admission of the violation, the judge shall dispose of any such violation as he or she deems appropriate if the resulting sentence or conditions are lawful.
(5)(a) Contingent upon an annual appropriation by the Legislature, the state courts system shall establish, at a minimum, one coordinator position in each mental health court program to coordinate the responsibilities of the participating agencies and service providers. Each coordinator shall provide direct support to the mental health court program by providing coordination between the multidisciplinary team and the judiciary, providing case management, monitoring compliance of the participants in the mental health court program with court requirements, and managing the collection of data for program evaluation and accountability.
(b) Each mental health court program shall collect sufficient client-level data and programmatic information for purposes of program evaluation. Client-level data includes primary offenses that resulted in the mental health court program referral or sentence, treatment compliance, completion status and reasons for failure to complete, offenses committed during treatment and the sanctions imposed, frequency of court appearances, and units of service. Programmatic information includes referral and screening procedures, eligibility criteria, type and duration of treatment offered, and residential treatment resources. The programmatic information and aggregate data on the number of mental health court program admissions and terminations by type of termination shall be reported annually by each mental health court program to the Office of the State Courts Administrator.
(6) If a county chooses to fund a mental health court program, the county must secure funding from sources other than the state for those costs not otherwise assumed by the state pursuant to s. 29.004. However, this subsection does not preclude counties from using funds for treatment and other services provided through state executive branch agencies. Counties may provide, by interlocal agreement, for the collective funding of these programs.
(7) The chief judge of each judicial circuit may appoint an advisory committee for the mental health court program. The committee shall be composed of the chief judge, or his or her designee, who shall serve as chair; the judge or judges of the mental health court program, if not otherwise designated by the chief judge as his or her designee; the state attorney, or his or her designee; the public defender, or his or her designee; the mental health court program coordinator or coordinators; community representatives; treatment representatives; and any other persons who the chair deems appropriate.
History.—s. 10, ch. 2016-127; s. 142, ch. 2019-167.