Court Monitored Mental Health Program
The Court Monitored Mental Health Program was founded on partnerships between the Kentville Justice Centre, the Nova Scotia Public Prosecution Service, Nova Scotia Legal Aid, Community Corrections, and Mental Health and Addiction Services at the Annapolis Valley District and Capital District health authorities (now the Nova Scotia Health Authority). The program falls under the auspices of the Provincial Court of Nova Scotia. A Provincial Court judge presides over the Court Monitored Mental Health Program.
For this program, "mental illness" means a recognized, significant and persistent mental illness such as schizophrenia, mood disorders, bipolar disorder, other psychosis, major depression and co-occurring mental health and substance-related dependency where the mental illness is the primary concern.
Who Is It For?
LOCATION OF THE COURT MONITORED MENTAL HEALTH PROGRAM
The Law Courts
A candidate for the program is one who is charged with a criminal offense(s). The offence(s) must have occurred in either Kings County or West Hants County and the candidate must live in either Kings or West Hants to be eligible.
A candidate must be diagnosed with a mental illness as referenced above.
There must be a connection between the criminal behaviour and the mental illness. This means that there is a reasonable probability the mental illness played a significant role in the commission of the offence(s).
The accused person first appears in Provincial Court for arraignment. Police, lawyers, family members and friends or the accused may ask for a referral to the Court Monitored Mental Health Program.
If the individual is referred, the Crown Attorney assigned to the program must consent to their participation. That individual must voluntarily undergo a clinical screening to determine whether a mental illness is present and what, if any, effect the illness had in the commission of the offence. Participants must acknowledge responsibility for the act or omission that forms the basis for the offence(s) that is/are alleged to have occurred.
If the candidate is then accepted into the program an individualized support plan will be developed. The support plan, agreed to by the participant, may include requirements such as participating in programming and attending clinical appointments. Upon completion, outcomes may include the charge being withdrawn, an absolute discharge, a conditional discharge, a fine, a peace bond, a conditional sentence, probation, community service or detention.
THREE-YEAR OPERATIONAL REPORT
The report provides an overview of the development and operations of the program.
This program is not a trial court. Participants must accept responsibility for their criminal actions.
In the opinion of the Crown Attorney there must also be a realistic prospect of conviction should the matter proceed to trial.
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Mental Health Court Program in Dartmouth
There is also a Mental Health Court Program in Dartmouth, serving the Halifax Regional Municipality.
For more information CLICK HERE >>