Mental Health Court
The Washington County Mental Health Court is a problem solving court devoted to handling moderate to severe mental health cases that have became involved with the criminal justice system. Comprehensive supervision, evaluation, diagnosis, and increased judicial interaction all combine to make this court operated program different from normal court processing.
The Washington County Mental Health Court is based upon the sequential intercept model which focuses on diversion as its primary objective. In certain cases it may not be appropriate or prudent for a full diversionary plan or Intercept One of the model. The Washington County Mental Health Court employs three additional intercepts which handle disposition without conviction, probation, and re-entry for the mentally ill criminal justice participant. To define an intercept, it is at which point the individual is entered into the criminal justice process, or diverted from it.
The Washington County Mental Health Court is presided over by Judge John DiSalle and employs a probation officer and a full-time case manager. The Washington County Mental Health and Mental Retardation Department was essential to the funding and planning of this program. They continue to employ service and support daily in the operation of this specialty court. The Washington County Mental Health Court holds staffing once a week and court once a month in regards to its participants. The program began in 2008 and has received funding from the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency and the Washington County Mental Health and Mental Retardation Department.