Interventional Justice and Mental Health Systems

Court is not generally the most warm and endearing place to be. However, there is a courtroom I have come to enjoy….one in which some of the women we serve find themselves participating. It was originally designed to serve veterans with PTSD and other mental health issues who found themselves sideways of the law. It got expanded to meet the needs of other citizens with documented mental health diagnoses who needed more intensive interventions than could be accomplished by simply sentencing them to Department of Corrections incarcerated environments. Our program is given the privilege of interviewing certain women who are candidates for this Therapeutic Justice Court program and, if we determine that we think they meet Titus 2’s program criteria, will cooperate with our program’s requirements, and we have a bed available, the court will give them the opportunity to do our program instead of going to prison. It has become a good cooperative working relationship. We are seeing women whose chaotic lives had placed them in jeopardy of spending significant time in prison, mostly because of lack of quality mental health care and lack of understanding of their conditions and lack of supportive community have the opportunity to prove that they can turn themselves around and become useful, productive citizens. One is now graduating after her time with us and a year in TJC. Two more are demonstrating to the court their ability to make significant and permanent lifestyle, mental health, and cognitive paradigm shifts with proper support and encouragement. Participants are promoted through “phases” of Therapeutic Justice Court and we are pleased to watch as they accomplish goals and meet standards and expectations they never would have thought they were capable of. But God knows and we believe in God’s redemptive work on their behalf until they begin to believe in it and live into it for themselves! What a special privilege to partner with such a team of rehabilitative specialists across a diverse field of endeavors- prosecutors, public defenders, judge, administrators, case managers, counselors, psychiatric specialists and our little Titus 2 niche…. spiritual educators and life recovery counselors- all with a common goal- to help see lives restored. God has got a wealth of resources to bring to bear on healing. My prayer is that more and more people get to be included in such cooperative, holistic approaches to rehabilitation for broken lives.