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Mental Health

What is the Mental Health Services Program

A condition that requires people on supervision to participate in mental health treatment. Treatment may include such services as psychological/psychiatric evaluations; individual, family, or group counseling; and medication.  See mental health resource page for additional informatioin and help

How the court uses it

  • To enable officers to monitor people on supervision who suffer from mental disease or defect, which may range from anxiety and depression to more chronic disorders such as bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, or pedophilia.
  • To provide officers with the ability and means to identify, assess, and provide care for these individuals.

The officer's duties

  • Identify people on supervision with mental health problems.
    – By reviewing information in case files
    – By interviewing the individuals and their families
    – By consulting with mental health professionals
  • As ordered by the court, refer them to mental health programs that provide appropriate services.
  • Look for any signs of danger, such as:
    – Suicide threats
    – Indications that they aren't taking prescribed medication
    – Indication that they are withdrawing from everyday life
  • Take steps to control and correct the situation if people on supervision:
    – Fail to take prescribed medications
    – Pose a potential threat to the public
    – Otherwise fail to comply with their release conditions

The officer's challenges

People on supervision who suffer from mental disorders may be:

  • Hampered in their ability to respond to supervision requirements, for example, by:
    – Cognitive impairments
    – Delusions
    – Side effects from medication
  • More difficult to supervise
    – Often requiring more intensive monitoring
    – Often requiring specialized and individualized treatment
  • More unpredictable to supervise
    – If they have a prior history of violence
    – If they suffer from psychotic or substance abuse disorder
    – If they fail to take prescribed medication

What the benefits are

For people who suffer from mental disorders, supervision may

  • stabilize them so that they don't present a danger to themselves or others.
  • enable them to function better in the community.
  • reduce the risk that they'll commit crimes in the future