The specific goals of Mental Health Court are to improve public safety, improve the quality of life of the participants, pay restitution to victims and reduce recidivism all while decreasing the amount of incarceration. Participants receive professional, accessible, quality treatment and support services at little or no cost while remaining accountable to the Court.

Consistent with the intent of the Florida Legislature, as set forth in section 394.47892 of the Florida Statutes, the Twelfth Judicial Circuit, with the assistance of community partners, has established a Mental Health Court which “processes [criminal defendants] in such a manner as to appropriately address the severity of the identified mental illness through treatment services tailored to the individual needs of the participant.”

Assigned Judge The Honorable Heather Doyle
Judge’s Judicial Assistant Debbie Trusz Phone: (941) 749-3607
Program Director Bethany VanWaarduizen Phone: (941) 782-4192
Program Supervisor Christa Lyon Phone: (941) 782-4176
Comprehensive Treatment Court (On Call) Phone: (941) 224-3268
Comprehensive Treatment Court (Main Number) Phone: (941) 782-4176

Overview

Comprehensive Treatment Court (“CTC”) is a program within the Twelfth Judicial Circuit’s Mental Health Court. It is designed for those individuals who are charged with a qualifying offense, suffer from a serious mental illness which likely led to the criminal charge and are unable to meet their basic needs. It is for those individuals who are unable to participate in outpatient treatment due to a significant barrier to treatment such as homelessness, untreated mental illness, or transportation. The CTC staff provide support to the clients and develop a full discharge plan by collaborating with other community partners.

Centerstone of Florida (“Centerstone”) provides the services to and, in connection with the Court, oversees CTC participants.

CTC participants must be willing to participate in recommended treatment (including but not limited to: therapy, case management, drug testing, medical and psychiatric services and the procurement of benefits). Successful completion depends on the individual’s compliance and progress as well as his or her transition to the long-term plan for mental health wellness and stability. The completion of CTC results in a dismissal of the charge(s).

Program Rules

The Clinical Plan: Upon entering CTC, the participant must complete a psychiatric evaluation. The CTC staff will then develop a plan for treatment and meeting basic needs. The participant must comply with all reasonably recommended components of this plan. Any issues related to the reasonability of the plan will be decided by the Court. Additionally, the participant must allow staff in his or her place of residence and be available during appointment times. The participant must be timely to appointments.

Use of Substances:

  • You may not take any illegal drugs (cocaine, crack, marijuana, heroin, ecstasy, crystal meth, non-prescribed opiates or benzodiazepines, etc.). Additionally, you must inform the CTC staff of any medications you are taking. Any prescribed medications, supplements, vitamins, over-the-counter cold and headache remedies, etc., must be verified by a staff member. Failure to provide a valid prescription for a medication that you test positive for will result in a positive drop.
  • The use of alcohol is not permitted while in the program. Drinking alcoholic beverages will violate your supervision. Cough syrups, cooking wine, or any other products containing alcohol are not permitted. It is your responsibility to be aware of the ingredients in anything that you put into your body, including medications, mouthwash, food, etc.
  • If you must take certain over-the-counter remedies, please inform your counselor and the nurse, as some over-the counter products are banned from the program.
  • All vitamins, minerals, herbal supplements, energy supplements, body building supplements, and similar products must be approved by the nurse before you take them. Some of these will not be approved, (i.e. poppy seeds) and all other supplements containing “creatine”.
  • If you are taking any psychotropic medications for mental health reasons or if the Nurse Practitioner/Psychiatrist prescribes you any psychotropic medications, you are encouraged to continue receiving medication management services while in the program. However, if you already have a psychiatrist, you may continue to see your own psychiatrist.

If you are prescribed any controlled substances due to a medical condition and need to continue taking them while in the program, you must get a letter from your Physician confirming that he/she is aware that you are in Comprehensive Treatment Court and that the medication is medically necessary.

Urinalysis: Drug screens are mandatory and randomly provided by CTC staff while participating in this program. Refusal to provide a sample for a drug screen is considered a positive drop. Participants must follow all staff member instructions to ensure the sample is properly collected.

Verbal Honesty: You must report all recent drug or alcohol use to the CTC staff.

Confidentiality

Your mental and physical health records will be kept in the strictest of confidence. However, information regarding your mental and physical health will be shared by and between the jail, the Court and the staff of CTC for purposes of case management and treatment considerations. Personal information about you will not be disclosed to those outside of CTC unless you sign an Authorization to Release Information form. Please note that your participation in Health Care Court is memorialized in public records. Additionally, please note that in cases of suspected child or elder abuse/neglect or if a client appears to be at imminent risk to harm self or others, counseling professionals are required by law to report this to the proper authorities to ensure safety of client and others.

Court Appearances

Comprehensive Treatment Court clients are not required to attend court hearings unless there is a compliance issue with the program. At each court appearance, the Judge will receive a progress report from the Comprehensive Treatment Court staff regarding the participant’s participation in the program. The participant will be encouraged to remain compliant throughout the program, completing all requirements until graduation. Failure to complete the treatment plan or an unsuccessful discharge from the program will result in prosecution on the pending charges or violation of probation.

Your case manager will know when your next court date is and you may also call the Judicial Assistant at 941-749-3607 in order to find out your next court date.

Hours and Contact

 
  • Address: 1051 Manatee Ave. W.
    Bradenton, FL 34205
  • Phone: (941) 782-4176

Office Hours

  • 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday-Friday,
  • Closed weekends and legal holidays

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