“I’ve learned to recognize the warning signs, interrupt the relapse process and use consequential thinking.” -C.T.
The Bronx TASC Mental Health Court Program seeks to craft a meaningful response to the problems posed by defendants with mental illness in the criminal justice system.
The program utilizes the authority of the courts to motivate offenders with mental illness to participate in treatment plans, and provides judicial monitoring of their progress and ongoing support to help ensure that offenders successfully complete treatment programs.
The Bronx Mental Health Court addresses public safety concerns by holding offenders accountable for their actions while at the same time linking them with long-term treatment programs as an alternative to incarceration. As a long-term goal, the program seeks to both address the treatment needs and reduce recidivism of offenders with mental illness. A majority of the defendants who are accepted into the program also have co-occurring substance use, trauma histories and personality disorders. Clients may be referred by the community, by defense or prosecuting attorneys, or by the court system, where a structured screening questionnaire is used to facilitate case identification. Within the mental health court, the clinical team provides comprehensive diagnosis, treatment, and risk assessment evaluation to facilitate the diversion into individualized services.