20th Judicial Circuit Mental Health Court

Mental Health Court is a voluntary alternative to the traditional court system for individuals with a severe persistent mental illness where there is some correlation between the offense and their diagnosis. Assistance and treatment is coordinated throughout the program and progress toward goals is monitored closely. Objectives include assisting those struggling with mental illness who have violated the law by increasing the efficiency of case processing, improving access to treatment and services, encouraging cooperation between the criminal justice system and community mental health providers, developing and completing an individualized treatment plan, improving community functioning of participants in the areas of employment, education, training and housing and reducing recidivism to improve public safety for the community.

  • Must be 18 years of age or older and a resident of Lee, Collier, or Charlotte County
  • Be willing to participate voluntarily and to comply with any recommended interventions
  • The individual is considered to be legally competent
  • Misdemeanor and felony charges are eligible for Mental Health Court at the discretion of the Court and upon recommendation of the State Attorney's Office; each case is reviewed on an individual basis
  • Must be a clear nexus between mental health diagnosis and criminal offense
  • Must meet the definition of an adult with a Severe and Persistent Mental Illness (SPMI)
    • Dimension I – Principal diagnosis of serious mental illness as defined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual Fifth Edition (DSM-5). (Schizophrenia or other Psychotic Disorders; Mood Disorders such as Major Depressive Disorder and Bipolar Disorder; Anxiety Disorders; or a combination of disorders sufficiently disabling).
    • Dimension II – Unable to support oneself, perform activities of daily living, behave in ways that do not bring attention of law enforcement for odd or dangerous acts, persistence of disability, continuously or episodically for at least a year.
  • If charges have been filed in a County outside of the County of primary residence, the case may be eligible for transfer under the Florida Problem Solving Court Transfer Guide.

Mental Health Court participants are required to appear in Mental Health Court on regular scheduled dates. At each appearance, the Judge will be given a progress report prepared by the treatment provider and/or the probation officer regarding a participant’s drug test results, attendance, and participation in treatment.

Mental Health Court is a voluntary program, for which misdemeanor and felony defendants are considered at the discretion of the Court. Participants will additionally be required to:

  • Demonstrate progress toward goals
  • Participate in mental health treatment and take medications as prescribed
  • Refrain from engaging in illegal activity; remain alcohol and substance free
  • Random drug and alcohol screens (possibly at own expense)
  • Meet conditions of probation, when applicable

Entry into the Mental Health Court program is voluntary. A Treatment Plan is developed cooperatively to specifically address the defendant's needs, taking into account existing community resources. The defendant, mental health professionals, and counsel must together agree to the Treatment Plan. Successful completion of the Treatment Plan results in closure of the case either through dismissal of the defendant's charges or possible completion of the probation. Failure to complete the Treatment Plan or discharge from the program results in prosecution on the pending charges or a violation of probation.

Drug testing is required throughout the entire treatment process as determined by the treatment team. The Mental Health Court Judge will have access to all drug test results including any failures to test, and may order a drug test at any time.

Financial Obligations

Participants are responsible for payment of full restitution to any victims of their crimes (the details and amount of which, if any is owed, are negotiated up front and included in the Mental Health Court Contract). Participants are also responsible for all court costs, fines and fees, and may be responsible for the cost of all treatment sessions and drug testing. Participants will need to certify their ability to meet these financial obligations prior to being accepted into Mental Health Court.

In diversion cases, with successful completion of the Court Supervision Plan, the pending case will be dismissed by the State Attorney's Office. Probation may be terminated or defendant continued on regular supervision. Defendants will be successfully linked with mental health service providers that they can maintain for the future. Family and friends are invited to join the court as the Judge congratulates the defendant for successfully completing the Court Supervision Plan and achieving his/her goals.

More information on the Mental Health Court Program can be found by choosing your county below:

Lee County Mental Health Court

The Honorable Josephine Gagliardi presides over the Lee County Mental Health Court program. Court is held on Tuesday at 2:30 pm in Courtroom 5B on the 5th floor of the Lee County Justice Center located at 1700 Monroe Street, Fort Myers Florida 33901.

For more information about this program and/or to make a referral, please contact Lee County Criminal Division/Probation at (239) 533-9199. A referral form (under Related Links) may also be submitted.

A signed Treatment Court Release of Information (under Downloads) must be submitted to LeeTreatmentCourt@ca.cjis20.org in order to move forward with clinical screening.

DOWNLOADS
RELATED LINKS
PHYSICAL LOCATION & MAILING ADDRESS

Fax Number: (239) 485-2510
Administrative Office of the Courts
Lee County Treatment Courts
1700 Monroe Street
Fort Myers, FL 33901

Bridget Washburn
Treatment Courts Manager
Tel. (239) 533-2887

Charlotte Mental Health Court

The Honorable Donald Mason presides over the Mental Health Court Program. Court is typically held on Monday at 3:00pm on the 3rd Floor of the Justice Center. Potential participants are encouraged to observe court sessions for a better understanding of the program and its intent. This program also includes a Veterans Track for approved Mental Health Court participants that have served in the US military. For more information about this program and/or to make a referral, please contact Charlotte County Pretrial Services at (941) 637-2297 or Paul Martineau at PMartineau@ca.cjis20.org. Referral form may be downloaded (under downloads).

DOWNLOADS
PHYSICAL LOCATION & MAILING ADDRESS

Charlotte County Pretrial Services
Specialty Court Coordinator
Phone: (941) 637-2297

Collier Mental Health Drug Court

The Honorable Joseph Foster presides over the Collier County Mental Health Court program. Court is typically held on Wednesday at 3:00 pm in Courtroom 1B on the 1st floor of the Collier County Courthouse located at 3315 Tamiami Trial East, Naples, Florida 34112. Should you have additional questions after reviewing all items on this website (including downloads), please contact Katie Burrows at (239) 263-4013 x 7125 or katieb@dlcmhc.com.

DOWNLOADS
RELATED LINKS
PHYSICAL LOCATION & MAILING ADDRESS

Collier Government Complex
3315 Tamiami Trail East
Naples, FL 34112

Katie Burrows
(239) 263-4013 x 7125
katieb@dlcmhc.com