San Tan Valley Area Information

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AZCourtCare Website Addresses Involuntary Mental Health Treatment

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The Arizona Supreme Court's Committee on Mental Health and the Justice System, in partnership with the Arizona Foundation for Legal Services, have established a new website called AZCourtCare (azcourtcare.org) to share information about the involuntary treatment process in Arizona, otherwise called "civil commitment." This legal process takes place in the superior court and may take place if a person experiencing a mental disorder is considered a danger to themselves or others and is unwilling or unable to accept voluntary treatment. 

"Our mutual goal is to help Arizonans better understand the options available for them and their family members who may be experiencing a mental health condition and are unable to get help for themselves," said Dr. Kevin Ruegg, CEO and Executive Director of the Arizona Foundation for Legal Services. 

The website includes basic information on:

  • What to do in a crisis – including calling non-police crisis hotlines 
  • Forms and other resources 
  • Processes that can apply to any Arizona county 
  • A glossary and collection of acronyms 

Committee Chair and former Pima County Superior Court Administrator Kent Batty stated, "Courts are uniquely situated in our communities to improve how we can more effectively serve Arizonans in need of mental health services. The Committee is focused on a front-end response, which includes community services or diversion through law enforcement when possible – to get people treatment and avoid further engagement in the courts and criminal justice system." 

A critical part of the Arizona Supreme Court's work in 2020 will be continuing to build partnerships with behavioral health providers, law enforcement and the community to support Arizonans with mental health conditions who encounter the justice system. 

The Arizona Supreme Court Committee on Mental Health and the Justice System was established through Administrative Order 2018-71 following the work of the 2016 Task Force on Fair Justice for All. This multi-disciplinary committee works to improve the administration of civil and criminal justice for persons with mental health conditions. The Committee is also charged with educating the public on court processes and resources available for individuals involved in the justice system who have behavioral health treatment needs. 

See the AZCourtCare website online at azcourtcare.org. For more information on the Court's work to improve the justice system for people with mental health conditions, please visit https://www.azcourts.gov/cscommittees/Mental-Health-and-the-Justice-System.
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Wednesday, 01 April 2020
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