Source: (2014) Southern California Review of Law and Social Justice. 23:427-455.

Mental health courts (MHCs) are a promising forum for combating the incarceration of individuals with mental illness. This Note explains why MHCs are particularly suited for community reintegration of those suffering from severe mental illness, explores some of the more successful community treatment programs to which MHCs can link severely mentally ill persons who are accused of crimes, and models a restorative justice program for integration into MHCs. The last of these is the most controversial, as it requires that offenders with mental illness and the victims of their crimes both be treated as victims. While few to none have tested the effectiveness of a restorative justice approach specifically intended to address the crimes of offenders with mental illness, this Note considers some of the issues likely to arise in implementing such an approach and the best means of addressing them. (author's abstract)