Therapy Through Justice: An Evaluation of the Riverside County Mental Health Court

Emily K. O'Neill, University of California - Riverside
Robert Nash Parker, University of California - Riverside

ABSTRACT
Recent developments of the criminal justice system aimed at reducing recidivism include the expansion of offenders served by "alternative justice courts". The most current wave of courts of this nature is the development of mental health courts. Mental health courts serve criminal offenders who are mentally ill, and/or drug addicted, or dually diagnosed by providing services needed to address these issues through sentencing and court supervision. Riverside County's Mental Health Court has served approximately 800 clients to date and successfully reduced recidivism among its' clients. This paper evaluates the effects of Riverside County's court on the population served.

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Updated 05/20/2006