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The Community Resource Court (CRC) assists individuals who have been diagnosed with mental disorders and become defendants in the court system of Orange or Chatham county. Participants with mental illness and/or co-occurring substance abuse disorders are connected or reconnected to effective community-based treatments and supports that help to encourage recovery. The CECMH Community Resource Court was the 1st Mental Health Court in North Carolina.

A collaboration with Judicial District 15-Orange and Chatham Counties

The CRC Team consists of trained professionals in the local court system and assist with other therapeutic courts. They encompass both the criminal justice system and the treatment providing community. The team coordinates to identify the most effective court and/or treatment response to be given to a CRC participant.

The court uses Therapeutic Jurisprudence: a courtroom with a high degree of sensitivity to the specialized needs of individuals with mental illness in order to better assist in the recovery process and in assuming personal responsibility for comprehensive health needs.

Criteria for participation

  • The district attorney determines if the individual’s criminal charges fit the program’s criteria of working with nonviolent individuals.
  • The CRC clinician, housed at the Center, evaluates the client’s mental health issues and advises the district attorney on the recommendation for treatment.
  • Once approved, these individuals follow a treatment plan in community-based mental health organizations in Orange and Chatham counties, in lieu of serving actual jail or probation time. The client’s progress is monitored closely by CRC, the court system, and the mental health care provider.