On Tuesday, July 17, 2012, the Supreme Court of Ohio launched an expanded news program – Court News Ohio – that features stories about the Ohio judicial system. This archived page on the Supreme Court’s website only displays news stories that occurred before that date. News stories that occurred on July 17 and thereafter can be found at www.courtnewsohio.gov.

June 17, 2008
Handbook Guides Judges in Creating Mental Health Court Dockets

Mental Health HandbookThe Supreme Court of Ohio today released a reference guide for judges considering starting mental health court dockets.

The mental health docket handbook offers guidance for judges on assessing the need for the docket, determining which type of docket works best, identifying personnel and resource issues and evaluating the program.

“We need to find new ways to change the lives of persons with mental illness so that they can have a chance to recover and live a life of meaning that we all want,” said Supreme Court Justice Evelyn Lundberg Stratton, who chairs the Supreme Court’s Advisory Committee on Mental Illness and the Courts. “We have recognized that jails and prisons have become the de facto mental health hospitals of our day. Through initiatives such as mental health courts we seek to shatter the revolving door that has developed.”

Mental health courts focus on the treatment and rehabilitation of offenders with a history of serious mental illness, which is oftentimes the root cause of the person’s criminal involvement. Some of the goals of mental health court dockets include: 

Twenty-eight courts in Ohio have mental health dockets in operation and several more have dockets in the planning stages. A national leader in specialized dockets, Ohio currently has more mental health court dockets than any other state.

“A Handbook for Developing a Mental Health Court Docket” is available by contacting Kevin Lottes at 614.387.9430 or Kevin.Lottes@sc.ohio.gov. The Specialized Docket Section of the Supreme Court’s Judicial and Court Services Division will be developing additional reference guides for judges interested in other specialized court dockets.

Contact: Chris Davey or Bret Crow at 614.387.9250.