Sheriff’s Office Partners with Courts and Mental Health Providers

The Southwest Behavioral Health Center and the Washington County Sheriff’s Office have combined efforts in developing a local Mental Health Court program. The program was first introduced in 2011. As of November 2013, the Washington County Sheriff’s Office provided a law enforcement element to the program in the form of a Mental Health Court Tracker position -similar to that of a Drug Court Tracker.

It is the mission statement of the Mental Health Court to “divert appropriate individuals into mental health treatment, rather than incarceration, resulting in an improved quality of life for the individuals, and a safer community at an overall lower cost to the community.” The program was developed to “help the participant achieve stability in the participant’s life and is designed to promote self-sufficiency and to return them to the community as a productive and responsible citizen.”

The Mental Health Court program offers therapy, case management and drug and alcohol treatment components through the Southwest Behavioral Health Center. Those who are interested in this program as a term of probation or in a plea in abeyance in a criminal case, are encouraged to request information and an application from their defense attorney.