The Importance of Mental Health Courts for Psychiatry & the Criminal Justice System

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Alexander Simmons


Mental health courts are designed to divert mentally ill offenders away from the criminal justice system and into appropriate treatment programs. This commentary highlights the systemic issues that led to the development of mental health courts as a solution. Research has already demonstrated that these courts are associated with numerous positive psychiatric and legal outcomes. However, further research is required to determine what specifically makes them successful, and who is most likely to benefit from them. Mental health courts have earned their place as an essential part of the criminal justice system and are a promising area of future research.

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