Mental Health Courts


Mental health courts partner criminal justice system stakeholders with behavioral health to divert eligible offenders into a judicially supervised program which includes community-based treatment. Mental health courts include a team of court staff and mental health professionals that work together to screen and assess defendants, develop treatment plans and supervise offenders. These courts offer defendants the opportunity to avoid incarceration by complying with community supervision and mandated treatment. Although there are differences across jurisdictions, the majority of mental health courts share the following characteristics:

  • A specialized court docket, which uses a problem-solving approach to court processing in lieu of more traditional court procedures for eligible defendants with mental illnesses
  • Judicially supervised, community-based treatment plans for participating individuals, which a team of court staff and mental health professionals design and implement
  • Regular status hearings where treatment plans and other conditions are reviewed for appropriateness, incentives are offered to reward adherence to court conditions, and sanctions are imposed on participants who do not adhere to the conditions of participation
  • Criteria that defines a participant’s successful completion (or graduation) from the program



Below is a list of funding opportunities that have been previously available from federal and private funding sources. Please note that although the funding deadlines may have passed, they can still be reviewed and considered for future planning purposes. You can check back often on the Announcements page for current funding opportunities as they are announced.

Adult Drug Court Discretionary Grant Program

Technical Assistance

Many federal agencies and other partners offer assistance, in addition to grant funding, to jurisdictions, agencies and stakeholders to address training needs or the need for subject matter expertise to address local issues or challenges. Through these resources, you can access recent publications, tools, often request one-on-one remote or offsite assistance. Examples of assistance can include time with trainings, consulting time with subject matter experts, and/or opportunities for connecting with peers doing similar work.


Bureau of Justice Assistance National Training and Technical Assistance Center (BJA NTTAC)

BJA NTTAC offers training and technical assistance services to state, local, and tribal justice agencies at no cost. BJA NTTAC can assist prosecutors’ offices, police departments, city and county commissioners, and corrections departments. The goal is to provide these agencies with the resources to reduce violent and drug-related crime, support law enforcement, and combat victimization. You can request assistance here.


The Center for Justice and Mental Health Partnerships

The Center for Justice and Mental Health Partnerships is funded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance to provide technical assistance to jurisdictions seeking to improve outcomes for individuals with mental health and co-occurring substance use conditions involved in the criminal justice system. Training and technical assistance is offered to support the implementation and enhancement of mental health courts.