1. a specialized judge or group of judges that sit only in that court;
2. a specialized Crown attorneys or small number of Crowns assigned to that court;
3. a specialized duty counsel or small number of duty counsel assigned to that court;
4. specially trained court officers;
5. mental health court workers;
6. an on-site psychiatrist on specific days,
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The following is a list of examples of criminal proceedings that can occur in mental health courts in Ontario:
Assessment orders are ordered by the court to allow the court to assess the accused person’s mental health to make a determination if the accused is fit to stand trial, or not criminally responsible for the crime they committed due to their mental health.
Mental health diversion facilitates a resolution of criminal charges in a manner that doesn’t involve a guilty plea or a trail, taking into account the accused’s mental health.
Typically mental health diversion is available for less serious matters. Usually in cases that are determined to be suitable for mental health diversion, the accused will have to take responsibility for their actions and see a physiatrist. In exchange, they may be able to avoid a criminal conviction or trial.
The terms of the accused’s diversion are negotiated by the accused’s criminal defence lawyer and the Crown. The Crown ultimately makes the decision if the matter is suitable to be resolved via diversion, but they may be convinced by a criminal defence lawyer.
Mental health courts in busier jurisdictions may also do bail hearings, guilty pleas, judicial pre-trials, and some trials for accused persons with mental health issues.