Mental Health Court

Mental Health Court

“A collaborative partnership between the justice and mental health systems.”

What is Mental Health Court?

Jackson County’s Mental Health Courts work due to the leadership of judges and courthouse staff, in collaboration with cities, funders, and mental health agencies.

Mental Health Court is a 6 to 12 month diversion program for persons charged with municipal violations who are diagnosed with mental illness and become involved in the criminal justice system. These persons receive appropriate treatment in a setting that promotes the dignity and respect of the individual, fosters community safety and decreases future involvement with the criminal justice system.

Who CMHS Provides Services For:

CMHS provides both mental health services and court monitoring for the following Jackson County Mental Health Courts:

Jackson County Municipal Mental Health Court, Hon. Garry Helm presiding. This docket was created in 2009. Through an inter-jurisdictional agreement, it accepts referrals from municipalities around Jackson County. Eastern Jackson County serves:

  • Lee’s Summit
  • Independence
  • Grandview
  • Oak Grove
  • Sugar Creek
  • Greenwood
  • Blue Springs

Kansas City Municipal Mental Health Court, Judge John B. Williams presiding. Created in 2001, this is the largest mental health court in the county. Participating agencies include the KCMO City Prosecutor’s Office, Community Mental Health Centers, and Legal Aid of Western MO.

Other Participating Jurisdictions:

City of Raytown Municipal Mental Health Court, Hon. Traci Fann, presiding. Created in 2009, this court pioneered the use of in-court screening to streamline access to services. The docket is for cases within the City of Raytown.

What is Diversion?

Diversion allows the defendant to receive treatment in lieu of prosecution for a pending charge. Upon successful completion of all diversion requirements the charges can be dismissed. The Mental Health Court Diversion program is strictly voluntary.

Mental Health Court Eligibility Requirements:

  • Must be a resident of Jackson County
  • Have a severe or persistent mental illness, developmental disability and/or traumatic brain injury
  • No violent felony convictions in the past three years
  • Other requirements set by prosecutor and/or judge may pertain

Diversion Responsibilities:

  • Voluntary agreement to participate in the program
  • Agree to receive a Mental Health evaluation and follow treatment plan recommendations
  • Attend all scheduled court hearings, court monitoring and treatment appointments as directed
  • Be free of alcohol and drugs while in the program
  • No new arrests while in the program

Mental Health Courts Referral Process:

Mental Health Court accepts referrals from Police Officers, Prosecuting Attorneys, Defense Attorneys, Probation Officers, Judges, treatment providers and family members.

To make a referral contact the local prosecutor in the court where the defendant case will be heard, or contact comprehensive mental health services for more information. Visit the website at: