News You Can Use: Florida

Florida Governor Rick Scott recently signed HB 439, Mental Health Services in the Criminal Justice System, into law and will take effect on July 1, 2016. This legislation expanded the role and use of treatment-based mental health and substance use courts by expanding the eligibility criteria for participants to include children in dependency court and veterans who have a general discharge. The state court system will also establish a mental health coordinator for each county mental health court. Additionally, those found mentally incompetent to stand trial or not guilty by reason of mental defect could be diverted through the new Forensic Hospital Diversion Pilot Program that will place individuals in community based treatment facilities.