HOPE (Helping Offenders Prosper Effectively) Court
HOPE Court is a specialized docket to assist mentally ill defendants in leading stable, safe, and law-abiding lives in our community.
HOPE Court is designed to divert offenders away from jail and into mental health treatment which is monitored by the Court.
The goals of the program are to keep participants psychiatrically stable and crime free by assisting them in making healthy changes and better choices in their lives.
The HOPE Court team develops a treatment plan based on the participant’s needs.
There is a limit of 10 participants at a time with 5 assigned to each judge.
Frequently Asked Questions about HOPE Court
Who is eligible?
The participant's charge is a probationary offense
The participant has a history of mental illness;
The participant is capable and willing to voluntarily cooperate and complete the program;
The participant demonstrates an interest and a desire to enhance his/her quality of life and become a productive member of society;
The participant could benefit from mental health treatment;
The participant’s primary diagnosis is not a substance abuse disorder or mental retardation.
What is the referral process?
The identification of potential participants for HOPE Court occurs in the initial stage of judicial involvement.
Non-clinical personnel including police officers, jail staff, probation officers, attorneys, and Judges identify participants who have been in the mental health system or exhibit symptoms of mental illness and may benefit from HOPE Court involvement.
Once a referral is made to a judge, the HOPE Court team assesses the person’s mental health status to determine whether the person meets the program’s basic criteria.
What are the benefits of participating in HOPE Court?
Participants maintain law abiding stable lives. In addition, there are three phases to completing HOPE Court. After the completion of each phase, the participant is awarded $50 toward his/her fine and court costs.