The State’s Attorney’s Office reviews the statement of charges to see if the crime seems to be driven by mental illness. Good examples of such charges are:
Destruction of Property
Excluded offenses include:
Violent Assaults, any crime involving weapons, or serious injury to victim.
CDS Distribution or PWID
If the individual judge is not the MHDP judge, there is no guarantee that the individual Judge will consider MHDP as an option. Participation in MHDP must be worked out on a case-by-case basis with the judges involved. The SAO also reviews the individual’s criminal record and makes the decision about whether to accept the candidate on a case-by-case basis. If the SAO rejects the case, then the candidate will not enter the MHDP. The case then proceeds in normal course and any psychiatric treatment may be fashioned into the probation order if the individual is found guilty.
If the SAO agrees to divert the defendant into the MHDP, the information is forwarded to the Office of the Public Defender or defense attorney of record. The defense attorney meets with the client, explains MHDP, reviews all rights with the defendant would waive, and asks the defendant whether he / she wants to be a participant. If the defendant agrees to participate, the judge reviews the case signs an order for a mental health evaluation if deemed appropriate. A psychiatrist will evaluate the candidate in HCDC or in the community. If the psychiatrist diagnoses the candidate with a qualifying mental health diagnosis, the client is accepted into MHDP.