HELP Program / Mental Health Court

About the Court
Implemented in 2004, the Health, Empowerment, Linkage, Possibilities (HELP) Program is Hall County's mental health court. The program is 18 to 24 months in duration and consists of 5 phases. It is the mission of the program to provide alternatives to incarceration for defendants who are involved in the criminal justice system as a result of their mental health issues. We accomplish this by linking those individuals to local, community-based treatment resources with the goals of reducing recidivism and helping participants become stable, productive members of society.

Court Goals
Our goals are to provide:
  • Participants with timely assessment by a licensed mental health professional
  • Case disposition
  • Intensive case management services to stabilize and engage participants in long-term Community-based mental health treatment
  • Referral to other services such as employment and housing
HELP Program
The HELP Program is a voluntary program and no guarantees are made to the participants about the ultimate outcome of their criminal charges. They are advised that the program is intended to provide them with the help and advocacy they may need in order for them to lead a more stable and independent life. This is a mental health treatment program and active participation and compliance to treatment is expected.

Weekly Teem Meetings
While the participants are not required to come to court each week, the team meets weekly to discuss each of the participants' progress and then holds court for enrollments, phase progressions, status updates, and sanctions. Team members include:
  • Case managers
  • Counselors
  • Defense attorney
  • Judge
  • Law enforcement officer
  • Probation officer
  • Prosecutor
  • Psychologist
  • Treatment provider
Veterans Track
In January 2014, we added a Veterans Track to the HELP Program. The goal of this specialty track is to link military veterans involved with the criminal justice system and who experience mental health issues to appropriate services through the Department of Veterans Affairs and monitor compliance with these services.