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Stories from Clients: How Mental Health Courts Can Change Lives

  • Karen A. Snedker
Chapter

Abstract

This Chapter details seven MHC case histories. By giving voice to clients, I uncover the experiences of those within the court. The stories illustrates the court’s influence on recidivism and how MHCs impact the lives of individuals. The interviews of MHC clients exemplify the ways in which experience in MHC influence their quality of life including the management of mental illness and substance use, housing stability, employment status and family relations. I examine how MHC participation encourages other pro-social and healthy behaviors that can lead to changed lives. The narratives reveal the potential of MHCs by highlighting some success stories based on court observations and interviews. Toward the end of the chapter I provided a nuanced explanation of why MHCs do not work for all clients.

References

  1. Berman, Greg, and John Feinblatt. 2005. Good Courts: The Case for Problem-Solving Justice. New York: The New Press.Google Scholar
  2. Corrigan, Patrick, Vetta Thompson, David Lambert, Yvette Sangster, Jeffrey G. Noel, and Jean Campbell. 2003. “Perceptions of Discrimination Among Persons with Serious Mental Illness.” Psychiatric Services 54 (8): 1105–10.  https://doi.org/10.1176/appi.ps.54.8.1105.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Desmond, Matthew. 2016. Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City. New York: Crown Publishing Group.Google Scholar
  4. Lens, Vicki. 2016. Poor Justice: How the Poor Fare in the Courts. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  5. Snedker, Karen A. 2016. “Unburdening Stigma: Identity Repair through Rituals in Mental Health Court.” Society and Mental Health 6 (1): 36–55. http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/2156869315598203.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Seattle Pacific UniversitySeattleUSA

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