Modeled after Drug Courts and developed in response to the overrepresentation of people with mental illnesses in the criminal justice system, Mental Health Courts divert select defendants with mental illnesses into judicially supervised, community-based treatment. Defendants are invited to participate following a specialized screening and assessment, and they may choose to decline participation. For those who agree to the terms and conditions of communitybased supervision, a team of court and mental health professionals work together to develop treatment plans and supervises participants in the community. Participants appear at regular status hearings during which incentives are offered to reward adherence to court conditions, sanctions for non-adherence are handed down, and treatment plans and other conditions are periodically reviewed for appropriateness
(Council of State Governments, 2005).