The Mental Health Docket operates in cooperation with area community mental health agencies to provide intensive supervision to offenders living with the challenges of mental illness. The Cleveland Municipal Court has recognized the need for behavioral health services, case management and supervision for clinically diagnosed mentally ill and/or developmentally disabled offenders to remain in the community and function as healthy, law-abiding citizens and to reduce the likelihood that they will come back into the criminal justice system as offenders.
The Judges of the Cleveland Municipal Court identify defendants with possible mental health issues. An assessment of the defendant is made via in-depth interview by the Court Psychiatric Unit to determine whether the defendant is a candidate for the Mental Health Docket, currently under the direction of Judge Pauline H. Tarver.
If eligible, after placement into the program the offender may be linked to a variety of community programs and agencies with the assistance of specially trained Probation Officers. Certain offenders may be offered a full range of services provided by agency providers, including forensic psychiatry, medication management, intensive outpatient substance abuse treatment for dually diagnosed offenders, partial hospitalization services and support services.
The Mental Health Docket continues to grow at a rapid pace as the number of individuals coming into the criminal justice system with mental health issues increases.