Mental health courts improve relationships, help people manage health care

December 15, 2016

Mental health courts provide a voluntary option for criminal offenders. These courts incorporate mental health assessments, treatment plans and ongoing monitoring to address the health needs of offenders in an effort to keep them out of jail, while also ensuring public safety. Proponents point to reductions in recidivism, or relapse into criminal behavior, as evidence to the effectiveness of mental health courts. Now, new research from the University of Missouri has found additional mental, social and health benefits for mental health court participants as an alternative to serving time in jail or prison.