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BHC Frequently Asked Question

Behavioral Health Court Frequently Asked Questions

The goals of BHC are as follows:

          * Connect criminal defendants who suffer from serious mental illness to treatment and support services in the community.

          * Improve coordination between the mental health and justice systems for persons with mental illness.

          * Reduce participant days spent in jail and reduce the potential for further interactions with the criminal justice system.

          * Improve the quality of life for people with mental illness and co-occurring disorders.

Behavioral Health Court will accept referrals after the filing of criminal charges and the case has been forwarded to the Douglas County District Court for further disposition.

Participants are required to:

          1. Follow a treatment plan.

          2. Comply with all court ordered conditions.

          3. Obey the terms of supervision.

          4. Attend regular court appearances.

Upon successful completion of the Behavioral Health Court program, the court will dismiss the participant's charges.

          * The defendant must be a resident of Douglas County, Kansas.

          * The defendant must be 18 years of age or older.

          * The defendant meets the criteria for severe mental illness and this illness contributes to the defendant's criminal behavior.

          * Eligible defendants with co-occurring disorders (mental health and substance abuse) will be evaluated for the Behavioral Health Court.

          * The court prioritizes defendants with non-violent offenses, but defendants with other offenses will be considered for the BHC on a case-by-case basis.

While each case is considered individually, people with the following offenses will typically be excluded from the BHC court:

          1. Felony sex offenses.

          2. Unresolved out of country charges.

          3. Murder and Manslaughter charges.