Community Mental Health Journal

, Volume 55, Issue 4, pp 590–598 | Cite as

A Three Stage Model for Mental Health Treatment Court: A Qualitative Analysis of Graduates’ Perspectives

  • Lee Ann Eschbach
  • Rebecca Spirito DalginEmail author
  • Elizabeth Pantucci
Original Paper


Mental Health Treatment Courts (MHTC) address the overrepresentation of individuals with mental health disorders in the criminal justice system and strive to minimize the "revolving door" cycle of arrest/incarceration/release/re-arrest. A qualitative research group interview design was conducted with program graduates resulting in a three stage model. Participant’s motivation was initially to avoid jail, but over time participants begin to make intentional choices leading to mental health recovery. Participants also described the importance of their relationship with the staff and the judge as well as the need for trust, understanding, and respect throughout the program. Recommendations for future research and program development are discussed.


Treatment courts Psychiatric rehabilitation Mental illness and incarceration Empowerment Recovery 



Funding was provided by University of Scranton.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

Lee Ann Eschbach, Rebecca Spirito Dalgin were funded to complete an evaluation of the program in this study in 2017. Elizabeth Pantucci has no conflicts of interest on this project.

Informed Consent

Full IRB approval was granted for this study and informed consent was obtained from all individual participants in this study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lee Ann Eschbach
    • 1
  • Rebecca Spirito Dalgin
    • 1
    Email author
  • Elizabeth Pantucci
    • 1
  1. 1.University of ScrantonScrantonUSA

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