Clerk of Circuit Court & Comptroller
Hernando County, Florida

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MENTAL HEALTH COURT

Mental Health Court is a special part of the Hernando County Circuit Court. It is a court supervised program for non-violent, mentally ill, criminal offenders who reside in Hernando County, who need treatment and other services, and who choose to participate in Mental Health Court instead of having their cases proceed in the regular court process.

WHY WAS MENTAL HEALTH COURT CREATED?

Mental Health Court was created to improve the court system’s ability to identify, assess, evaluate and treat mentally ill offenders by providing Judges, prosecutors, and defense attorneys with better information so that they may make more informed decisions about how to balance the need to preserve public safety with the individual treatment needs of offenders. Mental Health Court furnishes intensive case management and regular supervision to participants with a focus on accountability and monitoring of the participants’ performance to reduce recidivism, and encourage mentally ill offenders to build successful lives.

WHAT DO I HAVE TO DO?

The Hernando County Mental Health Court Treatment Team prepares a treatment plan for you based on an assessment of your needs for mental health treatment, substance abuse or alcohol treatment, case manangement services, and housing. In order to participate in the Mental Health Court, you must agree to comply with your treatment plan.

HOW LONG WILL I BE INVOLVED IN MENTAL HEALTH COURT?

Mental Health Court is a Four-Phase program that lasts up to 12 months. It may take longer for some participants. The amount of time you spend in Mental Health Court is determined by your participation and by your progress. While you are participating in Mental Health Court, you will be required to follow your treatment plan, including taking medications prescribed for you by your treating psychiatrist, primary care physician, or nurse practitioner; abstain from alcohol and from all non-prescribed or illegal drugs; submit to random drug and alcohol testing; participate in substance abuse or alcohol treatment; and lead a law abiding life.

For more information or help with mental illness, please contact the National Alliance for Mental Illness.