Mental Health Court
Read the participants manual (PDF) to find out about the program.
If you are interested in referring someone to the Mental Health Court, please have the candidate complete a consent form (PDF) and turn it in to the 238th District Court Coordinator. I you have any questions, please call the Coordinator at 432-688-4380.
The Midland County Mental Health Court Program (MHC) is a voluntary program for offenders who are mentally ill. The program consists of:
- Attendance at substance abuse classes and drug and alcohol testing, if needed
- Frequent appearances before the MHC judge
- Intensive supervision of clients by a mental health professional
- Mandatory mental health counseling
- Regular attendance at group counseling sessions
At the beginning of the program, staff controls the participant’s risk through frequent drug testing, meetings with the probation officer and treatment team, and frequent court attendance. As the participant moves through the program, he will begin to understand and learn about his mental illness, addiction, and how to control his own life. Once this is accomplished, the participant moves from risk-control to self-risk management.
The entire program length, which is determined by the participant’s progress, will not be less than 12 months.
An individual must meet the criteria for a serious mental illness, defined as major depressive disorder, bi-polar disorder, schizophrenia or schizo-affective disorder. Individuals with co-occurring substance use disorders are also considered where the mental health diagnosis is primary. MHC targets individuals that have a high to moderate criminogenic risk of re-offending, as determined by the Community Supervision and Corrections Department.
To be considered for MHC, an individual must be charged with, convicted of, or on probation for a misdemeanor or felony offense. The participant’s prior criminal history and treatment history in the community mental health system are considerations in determining eligibility. MHC participants must reside in Midland or Ector County.
Individuals charged with any misdemeanor or felony offense will be considered on a case by-case-basis. Participation in MHC is voluntary, unless it is court ordered as a term and condition of probation. The individual must be willing to participate in community treatment. The individual also must be willing to sign a release of information for details pertaining to his or her mental health treatment, substance use, legal status, and history to be shared with the MHC team.
Any person may refer an individual to the MHC. Prior to discussing an individual’s eligibility for the MHC, the individual must sign a consent form allowing free exchange of mental health and medical information. Once a consent form is signed, the Court Coordinator will prepare a referral sheet and forward the referral sheet and consent form to the defense attorney, Permian Basin MHMR, Probation Department, and the District Attorney’s Office.
To be eligible for MHC, an individual must be diagnosed with a serious mental illness and qualify for MHMR services, per State of Texas guidelines. Additionally, the State must be willing to offer probation or pretrial diversion to the individual.
Stakeholder staffing occurs immediately prior to a MHC session. At the staffing, the stakeholders discuss each applicant's eligibility for MHC. If the stakeholders vote to accept an individual, the individual is invited to observe a MHC status hearing and to participate in MHC. Unless specifically court ordered under the Texas Criminal Procedures Code Ann 42.12A.506, participation is voluntary.