In the Circuit Court of the Twelfth Judicial Circuit in and for
DeSoto, Manatee, and Sarasota Counties, Florida
Administrative Order: 2021–20.3
Establishing Manatee County
Comprehensive Treatment Court
To better address the needs in our community and consistent with the Florida Legislature’s intent as detailed in section 394.47892, Florida Statutes, the Twelfth Judicial Circuit has established a Comprehensive Treatment Court in Manatee County (hereafter referred to as “Manatee CTC”), to better process and appropriately address the mental health, substance use, or co-occurring needs of individuals who are in, or at risk of entering the criminal justice system.
The specific goals of Manatee CTC are, through the coordination of specialized judicial processes and evidence-based practices, to improve public safety; improve the quality of life of the participants; and reduce recidivism while diverting eligible individuals with eligible misdemeanor charges from incarceration.
Manatee CTC is funded by three-year DCF Reinvestment Grant awarded to Centerstone, Inc., in collaboration with Manatee County Government. Centerstone has entered into Memorandums of Understanding (hereafter referred to as “MOUs”) with community partners, including the Office of the State Attorney, Office of the Public Defender, Court Administration, the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office, Manatee County Probation Services, and NaphCare, the medical provider at the Manatee County Jail. These MOU’s detail the services provided by Centerstone and the services to be provided by each community partner.
Whereas, in accordance with Article V, section 7, Florida Constitution, Rule of General Practice and Judicial Administration 2.215 and section 43.26, Florida Statutes, it is hereby ordered and adjudged as follows:
- The Twelfth Judicial Circuit has established Manatee Comprehensive Treatment Court, known as Manatee CTC. Manatee CTC has been in the planning stages for the past several years and is expected to begin in January 2022.
- Centerstone is responsible for providing the counseling, treatment and ancillary services to the Manatee CTC participants as well as reporting to the Court. Centerstone provides many services itself and partners with community agencies/individuals for certain services.
- In order to be eligible for Manatee CTC, a criminal defendant must be both clinically eligible and the criminal charge must be eligible in accordance with the governing statutes. A Centerstone mental health professional conducts an evaluation of a defendant and advises the Court regarding clinical eligibility. The Court makes the ultimate decision regarding a defendant’s admission into Manatee CTC.
- Manatee CTC is designed for criminal defendants who suffer from a serious mental illness and whose basic needs cannot be met without support. Manatee CTC is diversionary for misdemeanors. The assigned division judge shall consider requests to enter Manatee CTC subject to paragraph 6 below.
- If a defendant is in custody and Centerstone has deemed that individual eligible for Manatee CTC, there is an expedited process to divert that individual from jail. As such, pursuant to Centerstone’s MOU with the State Attorney’s Office, the State is deemed to have already stipulated to defendants entering Manatee CTC and being released from jail if the defendant is charged with one or more of the following misdemeanors or city ordinances and is not already on probation and was not in prison within the preceding three years:
- resisting and officer without violence;
- false name to a law enforcement officer;
- public urination or defecation;
- false 911 call;
- false report to law enforcement;
- disorderly intoxication;
- disorderly conduct;
- trespass in a structure or conveyance (not at a private residence unless the residence is vacant);
- possession of marijuana;
- possession of spice;
- possession of paraphernalia;
- possession of alcohol by a minor;
- false fire alarm;
- open container;
- theft of food or lodging;
- pan handling;
- plant removal; and
- crimes related to being in a park after hours.
The State’s stipulation, for purposes of expedited diversion from jail, is subject to later review, and the State may withdraw the stipulation after first conferring with opposing counsel and then filing an Information and scheduling a bond hearing with the Manatee CTC presiding judge. The Office of the Public Defender or other defense attorney shall forward all motions regarding admission of incarcerated defendants pursuant to this paragraph to the Manatee CTC presiding judge.
- Form motions, orders and program contracts will be available on the Manatee CTC page of Twelfth Judicial Circuit’s website.
- Time is of the essence in cases involving individuals with mental illnesses and especially where an incarcerated defendant is eligible for Manatee CTC. Centerstone, Manatee County Probation Services and NaphCare shall work expeditiously with the defense attorneys, jail staff, the State Attorney’s office, and the Court to determine eligibility for those defendants in custody.
- Centerstone shall not use encrypted emails when communicating with the Court, Manatee County Probation Services, the State Attorney or defense attorney.
- This Administrative Order is effective January 3, 2022.
Done and ordered in Sarasota, Sarasota County, Florida, this 16th day of December, 2021.
Charles E. Roberts, Chief Judge
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