The court works closely with its state and local justice system partners to support collaborative programs that seek to find effective ways to deal with certain types of criminal cases. These collaborative efforts are usually undertaken in an effort to reduce recidivist conduct and create a safer community. Many of these programs—frequently referred to as “collaborative justice courts” or “problem solving courts”—combine judicial supervision with rehabilitation services that are rigorously monitored and focused on a defendant’s recovery. To learn more about collaborative justice courts, visit the California Judicial Council’s Collaborative Justice Courts Webpage.
Behavioral Health Court
The court was awarded grant funds from the Judicial Council in 2015 to support the enhancement of a collaborative court designed to support mentally ill defendants. Grant funds were made available to trial courts throughout California by way of the State’s Recidivism Reduction Fund to support programs that focused on improved outcomes for defendants in an effort to reduce recidivist conduct statewide and deal with overcrowded state prisons.
The Santa Cruz County Behavioral Health Court (BHC) is a supportive post-adjudication review court designed to improve offender treatment outcomes and respond to public safety and victim’s rights concerns. The BHC accomplishes these goals through collaboration between the court, probation, mental health, district attorney, defense counsel, and law enforcement. The program is designed to achieve specific and measurable programmatic outcomes on an annual basis for each of its program participants. The goals, objectives and general framework of the BHC program are described in detail in the following protocol
For more information about BHC or for information about how to participate in the program, please contact Nicolette Lee at 831-420-2496 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org