During the past decade, the number of specialty courts designed to divert mentally ill individuals from the criminal justice system into appropriate treatment programs has grown from 4 to about 120. This growth has been driven by concern about the large number of inmates with mental illness in jails or prisons nationwide and the hope that connecting them with appropriate treatment will improve their quality of life while reducing communities' crime rates and incarceration costs.
Kuehn BM. Mental Health Courts Show Promise. JAMA. 2007;297(15):1641-1643. doi:10.1001/jama.297.15.1641