The Savannah-Chatham Mental Health Court is a judicially supervised program designed to hear cases involving individuals who have been diagnosed with mental illness. The Court seeks to address the underlying issues that lead to repeated involvement in the criminal justice system by compelling participants to address his/her mental illness while simultaneously serving a sentence. The Savannah-Chatham County Mental Health Court couples intensive treatment with enhanced supervision as an alternative to incarceration, where appropriate, by improving the communication between the courts, community supervision and the behavioral health systems. The Court does not excuse offenders of their criminal responsibility, but rather ensures that non-violent offenders do not remain in jail longer simply because of mental illness. The broad goal of the Court is to provide participants with the tools necessary to function at their highest possible level, which will ultimately reduce the number of law enforcement contracts and result in increased public safety.
The Savannah-Chatham County Mental Health Court ensure that participants have access to the recommended treatment/services, that the participants engage in these services, and are held accountable when they do not comply with program requirements. Participants are required to attend regular court sessions, attend increased probation appointments, participate in the recommended mental health and or substance abuse treatment, remain compliant with medications, complete community service, pay fines and probation fees, abstain from alcohol and/or drugs, submit to random but frequent urine screens, and engage in employment or volunteer work.