Mental Health: Technical Assistance

The Center for Court Innovation helped to develop one of the nation’s first felony mental health courts, the Brooklyn Mental Health Court, and provides technical assistance to mental health courts across the country.

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The Center’s services include:

  • Site visits
  • Hands-on assistance
  • Trainings
  • Research and writing

Site visits

Site visits are one of the best vehicles for introducing planners to the concepts and practice of mental health courts. Over the years, the Center has developed structured tours for visitors to its demonstration projects, including the Brooklyn Mental Health Court, which links defendants with serious and persistent mental illnesses to long-term treatment as an alternative to incarceration. A tour provides a real-world example of how courts are seeking to craft a meaningful response to the problems posed by mentally ill defendants.

On a typical site visit, visitors will:

  • see the courtroom in action and meet the judge;
  • meet project staff, who will be available to answer questions;
  • obtain sample documents; and
  • brainstorm new approaches to problems back home.

Hands-on assistance

The Center for Court Innovation provides intensive one-on-one assistance in the planning, implementation, and enhancement of mental health courts.

Assistance is available in five main areas:


A needs assessment helps pinpoint pressing local problems, providing quantitative and qualitative data to sharpen planners’ understanding of the issues at hand.


Once the problems have been clearly defined, the Center can help planners create a detailed concept paper that spells out the scope and goals of a project.


Armed with a clear, detailed idea about how to proceed, the Center can make it happen by helping clients identify funding sources, create a start-up budget, and devise new ways to engage the community and potential government partners.


The Center can help planners evaluate the project by establishing performance measures and tracking the project’s ability to meet its stated goals.


Finally, the Center can assist with troubleshooting, helping program managers analyze operations and make mid-course adjustments.


Center for Court Innovation experts provide customized workshops, panels, and trainings on mental health courts. Speakers from the Center have participated in conferences across the U.S. and internationally.

Research and writing

Center for Court Innovation researchers are available to conduct original research, including both impact and process evaluations, and to produce publications.

Click here to click here to read the Center’s mental health court-related publications, or visit the Research page to learn more about the Center’s research team and its projects.

Request Assistance

Please use this form for any of your expert assistance needs, whether you'd like to arrange a visit to one of our demonstration projects in New York, request hands-on assistance, schedule a training, engage our researchers, or just request more information in general. We look forward to hearing from you.

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  • New York
  • 520 8th Avenue
  • 18th Floor
  • New York, NY 10018
  • phone: 646.386.3100
  • Syracuse
  • 601 Tully Street
  • Syracuse, NY 13204
  • phone: 315.266.4330
  • London
  • Canterbury Court
    1-3 Brixton Road
  • London, SW9 6DE
  • phone: +44 2076.329.060