Program Description: The interested defendant must be referred by the Solicitor to Mental Health Court. If the Mental Health Court Team accepts the defendant, he or she will be required to plead guilty to the pending charges and will be sentenced. This sentence will be suspended upon completion of Mental Health Court. Successful completion of Mental Health Court will result in the sentence being satisfied and the participant may be eligible to have the charges dismissed. If the participant unsuccessfully completes Mental Health Court, the Mental Health Court Judge will impose the original sentence.
Performance, compliance, and sobriety determine how long a defendant remains in the Mental Health Court program. All participants will spend a minimum of twelve (12) months under the supervision of the Mental Health Court program.
Mental Health employs escalating sanctions in response to noncompliance with program requirements. Should the participant use drugs or alcohol, fail to attend court sessions or counseling appointments, fail to take medications as prescribed or in any other way not comply with the program requirements, the Mental Health Court Judge will order sanctions. These sanctions include but are not limited to community service, additional counseling sessions, jail time or dismissal from the Mental Health Court program.
Court: Mental Health Court participants are required to report to court on a weekly to monthly basis for a progress update with the Mental Health Court Judge. The Horry County Mental Health Court meets at the J. Reuben Long Detention Center located at 4150 J. Reuben Long Avenue in Conway. The Presiding Mental Health Court Judge is the Honorable Aaron Butler.
Treatment/Self Help Meetings: Mental Health Court participants are required to attend two (2) outpatient counseling sessions per week, one (1) individual session per week and three (3) self-help meetings per week. A more detailed list of program requirements is provided.
Employment: Employment is determined on a case by case basis. Mental Health Court participants may be required to maintain employment (20 to 30 hours per week). If a Mental Health Court participant is not a high school graduate, he or she may be required to obtain a GED.
Drug and Alcohol Testing: Mental Health Court participants are tested for alcohol and drugs throughout the program. All participants will be tested a minimum of two (2) to three (3) times per week. Any tampering, altering or diluting the tests could result in termination from Mental Health Court.
Fees: Drug Court participants are required to pay a $100.00 application fee. There is also a supervision fee of $10.00 each week.