It is incredibly stressful to be charged with a criminal offence, but often much worse for people with a mental illness or concurrent disorder. The court program is there to help these individuals negotiate the court system successfully while maintaining the best possible mental health. In addition, referrals are made to needed community mental health services.
The program is easy to access - one phone call or a knock on the door will do. The office at the courthouse can be seen as an 'oasis' within the busy and confusing court setting. Often it is the family who receives support and information, while their loved one is in custody.
The Mental Health Court Support Program provides support and advocacy to individuals involved in the criminal justice system and who have a mental illness or concurrent disorder. Case managers work closely with the Crown Attorney's Office, Duty/Defense Counsel, police, corrections, and community service agencies to provide linkages to treatment and support where required. The program aims at minimizing the time individuals spend in the criminal justice system, the emotional impact that results from this contact, and the possibility of further involvement in court.
The program provides:
Support and information on court processes and procedures and mental health services to the mentally ill person accused and the family. Information on mental illness and community services to the court staff. Information on court processes and procedures to other mental health professionals.
Court Diversion Program
The court diversion program was developed in conjunction with the Office of the Crown Attorney, the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care and CMHA.
The court diversion program focuses on serving people who have a serious mental illness or concurrent disorder and are accused of committing minor criminal offences.
The goal is to divert these people away from the criminal justice system and to provide them with stable, long-term community supports.
Referrals to the program may be made by the accused, family, friends, police, the Crown Attorney, the defense counsel, or community agencies.
Release from Custody at Court Services

CMHA-Champlain East can coordinate with the Ottawa Carleton Detention Centre (OCDC) access to transportation of offenders’ basic personal effects upon their release at court such as: prescriptions, medication, house keys, ID, health card, etc. Such basic effects are placed in a sealed and numbered envelope.
We can provide release / discharge planning for individuals in custody who are inmates at OCDC, to promote successful community reintegration and reduce recidivism.
Direct, in-person support for individuals released at Court who may be at risk of involvement in the criminal justice system.
Please make request with at least 48 hours notice.
Who is eligible?
The court diversion candidate must:
• Have a serious mental illness or concurrent disorder
• Have been charged with committing a low risk offense
• Be approved for diversion by the Provincial Crown Attorney
• Be willing to participate in mental health case management
• Be 16 years and over
• Must reside in the Champlain East region (Stormont, Dundas, Glengarry, Prescott, Russell and Akwesasne).
Case Management services include:
• Developing a comprehensive individualized plan of support with each client
• Providing support, encouragement and feedback to enable clients to realize their goals
• Networking with relevant formal and informal supports, community and hospital services