NAMI CA 2019 Presentation: Mental Health and the Justice System

At the California National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Annual Conference 2019 in Newport Beach, California, Telecare’s Sarah Nudel and Robin Weintraub were honored to present on the Behavioral Health Court Model, a specific program type designed to serve individuals who have mental health needs and are involved with the criminal justice system. We are pleased to share the presentation below.

Mental Health and the Justice System: Behavioral Health Court Model Puts Teams on the Same Page

Telecare Corporation has provided services to individuals with serious mental illness and co-occurring justice involvement issues for more than 15 years. The focus of this year’s NAMI CA presentation was the Behavioral Health Court (BHC) model, a treatment modality that Telecare offers for the community through programs in Orange County and San Diego County, California.

Program Model Overview

The BHC model has been a productive and effective model to support individuals with serious mental illness who are on probation, to help them regain and maintain stability, fulfill the obligations of their probation requirements, prevent recidivism into the criminal justice system, and take steps toward a healthier future, a more stable life, and meaningful roles in the community.

The Behavioral Health Court Model is a collaborative process with multiple stakeholders. Here’s the BHC role breakdown:

Mental Health Professionals

  • Focus on mental health treatment

  • Sensitive to privacy

  • Recovery-focused

  • Community linkages

  • Mental health visits at home/in the field

  • Teach effective choice-making

  • Power aware

  • Seek to awaken internal motivation

Justice Partners

  • Focus on accountability

  • Community supervision

  • Monitor conditions of release (COR)

  • Community linkages

  • Perform visits and searches at home

  • Focused on compliance, not choice

  • Power-over

  • Use COR and sanctions as external motivation


Learn More About the Model

Program length is a minimum of 18 months, but members typically stay 2-3 years.

BHC is a day program model where clients participate in groups based on where they are in their recovery process in the program. Programming focuses on evidence-based practices to support recovery, reduce criminogenic behaviors, and support the individual in making forward progress in the program. Case managers link members to community resources.

After graduation, members are transferred to outpatient clinics at an equal or lower level of care depending on the presenting need.

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