Mental Health Court
The Yakima County Mental Health Court is a collaborative, problem-solving court that strives to promote stability, sobriety and safety for criminal justice involved individuals with mental illness through an intensive program of evaluation, treatment, and frequent monitoring of compliance, while ensuring the security and well-being of the community.
Mental health court is a specialized court docket for certain defendants with mental illness that substitutes a problem-solving model for traditional criminal court processing. Participants are identified through mental health screening and assessments and voluntarily participate in a judicially supervised treatment plan developed jointly by a team of court staff and mental health professionals. Incentives reward adherence to the treatment plan and other court conditions, non-adherence may be sanctioned, and success or graduation is defined according to pre-determined criteria.
Yakima County Mental Health Court is a four (4) phase program of intensive judicial supervision and includes frequent appearances before the Mental Health Court judge, mandatory mental health treatment, and substance abuse treatment if indicated.
Phases are designed to build on the skills learned in the previous phase, allowing the participants to learn to effectively manage their mental illness (and substance abuse, where applicable). As they move through the phases of the program, they will be evaluated and promoted based on successful completion of each phase. A detailed description of each phase is included in the Handbook. Please note, however, that because all treatment plans are individualized, the requirements in each Phase may vary for each participant and may be modified by the MHC Treatment Team and MHC Judge to better fit your needs.