Behavioral Health Education and Resources

This page aims to increase knowledge of the intersection between criminal justice and behavioral health, and to better address the needs of court users. It is intended for California court  judicial officers, court employees, and justice partner agencies.

Incompetent to Stand Trial Project

The Judicial Council is launching a project with support from the California Department of State Hospitals to enhance the quality of forensic evaluator reports in adult competence to stand trial proceedings through evaluator training. This project will additionally develop and implement strategies to increase the statewide pool of qualified forensic evaluators and will assist courts in identifying and scheduling evaluators.

Incompetent to Stand Trial Fact Sheet

AB 1810 Mental Health Diversion

Assembly Bill 1810 established mental health diversion for defendants facing both misdemeanor and felony charges (Penal Code §§ 1001.35, 1001.36), and amended the statutes for mental competency proceedings (Penal Code §§ 1370, 1370.01) to allow a judge to grant diversion to a defendant who has been found incompetent to stand trial.

Mental Health Diversion Data

The Judicial Council of California works with trial courts to collect data on mental health diversion granted under Penal Code § 1001.36. Mental Health Diversion data is available in the Mental Health Diversion Data Summary Report.

Pretrial Mental Health Diversion

The interactive dashboards below present data reported to the Judicial Council of California.  The Supplemental Report of the 2019 Budget Act by the Legislative Analyst’s Office requires trial courts, among other data elements, to provide data on the number of petitions that were granted for mental health diversion set forth in Penal Code § 1001.36.

In January 1, 2020, trial courts began data reporting, and some courts voluntarily reported data from 2019. These dashboards display data on mental health diversion programs by county and by case type. Data on the number of petitions that were denied include the number of petitions denied because the defendant did not meet the statutory requirements for eligibility and the number of petitions denied based on other findings.

Source: Quarterly petition data reported to Criminal Justice Services, Judicial Council of California, pursuant to Supplemental Report of the 2019-20 Budget Act Item 0250-001-0001



Behavioral Health Education Series: AB 1810 Implementation

This webinar discusses the basic eligibility requirements of the new mental health diversion law, the effect of legislative amendments, the procedural process, and strategies to implement the law effectively. The webinar also discusses how the collaborative court model can be used to implement the law and how the new law may impact existing collaborative courts.



Adult Drug Court Standards Webinar Series

The Judicial Council of California partnered with drug court subject matter experts to create a 12 month “lunch box” series of live, interactive, on-line trainings that focused on each Adult Drug Court Best Practice Standard from All Rise, formerly the National Association of Drug Court Professionals (NADCP). See the Judicial Council YouTube Adult Drug Court Standards Webinar Series to watch.

Mental Health: Lived Experiences

This presentation explores how judges and courts staff can effectively address court users who have a mental illness. This webinar includes interviews of people involved in the justice system who have a mental illness sharing their court experiences and practical take-aways for improved court sessions.

Partnering with County Behavioral Health to Serve Justice-Involved Populations

This three-part webinar discusses the services that county behavioral health agencies provide, including the different treatment options, levels of care, and types of treatment providers. 

Serious Mental Health Disorders

This webinar defines ‘serious mental health disorder’, and discusses common diagnoses in the criminal justice system, symptoms of these disorders, and effective treatments.

Adult Drug Court Standards Webinar Series
A webinar series describing each of the National Association of Drug Court Professionals’ Adult Best Practice Standards Volume I and II.

Department of State Hospitals (DSH) Diversion Program Webinars
A California state agency that provides technical assistance on DSH diversion eligibility and risk assessments

Developing a Mental Health Court: An Interdisciplinary Curriculum
The Council of State Governments Justice Center

Improving Cultural Competency: Working with People in the Criminal Justice System Who Have Mental Illnesses
The Council of State Governments Justice Center

Effective Court Responses to Persons with Mental Disorders
Briefing from the National Center of State Courts (September 2018)

Fair Justice for Persons with Mental Illness: Improving the Court’s Response
National Center for State Courts practical guide for judges in responding to persons with mental illness

Judicial Bench Card: Practical Considerations Related to Release and Sentencing for Defendants Who Have Behavioral Health Needs.
Judicial Bench card from the Judges and Psychiatrists Leadership Initiative

Principles of Community-based Behavioral Health Services for Justice-Involved Individuals: A Research-based Guide
Guide on using community-based behavioral health resources for the justice-involved populations

SAMHSA - Trauma-Informed Judicial Practice
Judicial information on the impact’s trauma on court users

National Judicial Task Force to Examine State Courts' Response to Mental Illness
A compendium of mental health resources by the National Center for State Courts

Council on Criminal Justice and Behavioral Health
A California council that strives to end the criminalization of individuals who have a mental illness

All Rise
All Rise is the premier training, membership, and advocacy organization for the treatment court model.