Court Monitored Mental Health Program
This Program is founded on partnerships between the Kentville Justice Centre, Nova Scotia Public Prosecution Service, Nova Scotia Legal Aid, Community Corrections, Mental Health and Addiction Services – Annapolis Valley District Health Authority and Capital District Health Authority (West Hants County). The Program falls under the auspices of the Provincial Court of Nova Scotia.
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
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 first appears in Provincial Court for arraignment. Police, lawyers, family members/friends or the accused may ask for a referral to the Court Monitored Mental Health Program.
If the individual is referred to the Program, the Crown Attorney 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.
Outcomes may include:
Withdrawal of the Charge
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.
A Provincial Court judge presides over the Court Monitored Mental Health Program.
This Court 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 in Dartmouth
There is also a Mental Health Court Program in Dartmouth, serving the Halifax Regional Municipality.
For more information, CLICK HERE >>