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What is Mental Health Court?

Mental Health Court is a diversion program based on the philosophy where a centralized mental health program utilizes available community resources and support systems.  This then increases the efficiency of the criminal court by creating an environment that is conducive to mental health treatment and wellness, while insuring the safety of the public at large.

The program provides diversion opportunities for offenders identified with mental illness and co-occurring mental disorders, thus allowing the courts treatment options in affording the use of alternatives to prosecution with graduated sanctions. Upon completion of sanctions, the offender’s re-entry into the community will be monitored thus increasing public safety and reducing recidivism.


Our Mission, Vision and Goals

The mission of the Nassau County Mental Health Program is to provide a problem-solving approach for persons with mental illness who are charged with certain crimes. They and their families are given the opportunity to voluntarily participate through conditional releases in community treatment and court approved service plans as an alterative to incarceration and the normal criminal prosecution process and punishment.

The vision of the Nassau County Mental Health Court Program is a community which does not include persons who have unnecessarily lost liberties because of their mental illness.


The overarching goals of the Nassau County Mental Health Court Program are to:

    • Reduce the involvement of persons with mental illnesses, including those with co-occurring substance abuse disorders, in the criminal justice system.
    • Reduce recidivism and re-incarceration of persons with mental illnesses in the criminal justice system.
    • Incorporate the principles of recovery throughout the criminal justice, mental health and substance abuse systems.
    • Improve the capacity of persons with mental illnesses to successfully live and work in the community.
    • Improve access to mental health treatment, community services and supports for persons with mental illnesses.
    • Improve treatment engagement and outcomes.
    • Reduce burden and cost on law enforcement and the jail.
    • Improve collaboration and coordination of services among criminal justice, mental health and drug treatment, physical health care, and other social service systems.
    • Increase public safety.



Where and When?
The Nassau County Judicial Annex is located approximately 15 miles west of Fernandina Beach and 15 miles east of Callahan off A1A. William Burgess Boulevard runs in front of the annex. The Betty Cook Center of the Florida Community College of Jacksonville is located near the Annex.


The Nassau County Mental Health Court will be in session for two hours each week on Wednesday's from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Judge Brian Davis will be the Presiding Judge of the Mental Health Court. All Mental Health Court proceedings will be confidential.

Additional Information

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