Mental Health Deferred Prosecution Program
The Coconino County Attorney’s Office Mental Health Deferred Prosecution Program is designed to give competent, but seriously mentally ill adults who become involved in the criminal justice system an opportunity to engage in treatment services to regain stability and, by doing so, avoid a felony criminal conviction.
The Program will allow the participants to address mental health issues, substance abuse issues, and other risk factors by taking advantage of services made available in the community from third party providers while prosecution of their case is suspended.
The Program also serves the broader interests of society in a just resolution of the criminal cases where mental illness has been a factor in criminal behavior. It is hoped that stabilizing the illness will make criminal behavior less likely to recur in the future.
Who Can Participate
The CCAO has sole discretion as to who may participate the Program. Criteria for eligibility are set forth below and may be modified from time to time in the discretion of the CCAO to conform with best practices, promote community safety, comply with victims’ rights, meet participants’ needs, or allow the Program to function with then available resources.
In order to participate in the Program, a candidate must:
· Reside in Flagstaff.
· Be designated as SMI, as defined in A.R.S. § 36-550, at the time of the request to enter the program.
· Score as “low-risk” on the Offender Screening Tool assessment completed through the Adult Probation Department
· Be enrolled for services with either Southwest Behavioral Health or The Guidance Center with an assigned case manager.
· Complete an American Society of Addiction Medicine Screening (“ASAM”).
· Sign releases of information related to mental health and substance abuse services.
· Be willing to participate in all services recommended by case management, including but not limited to: individual counseling, substance abuse treatment, medication management, and urinalysis testing.
· Be willing to take all recommended psychiatric medications.
· Be willing to report any contact with law enforcement to case manager within forty-eight hours of contact.
· Be statutorily eligible for deferred prosecution, pursuant to A.R.S. § 11-361, under which a defendant is ineligible for deferred prosecution if he or she:
i. Has been previously convicted of a serious offense as defined in section 13-706, an offense under title 13, chapter 14, a dangerous offense as defined in section 13-105 or a dangerous crime against children as defined in section 13-705.
ii. Has been convicted three or more times of either:
(a) Personal possession of a controlled substance as defined in section 36-2501.
(b) Personal possession of drug paraphernalia as defined in section 13-3415.
· Agree to pay restitution in a stipulated amount.
· Not have been admitted to this Program before.
Treatment Program and Monitoring
All treatment for Program participants will be provided and supervised by third party case managers associated with either The Guidance Center, Inc. or Southwest Behavioral & Health Services. It is anticipated that the participants will also receive peer support through Hope Lives – Vive La Esparanza or other similar entity. The case manager shall report substantial non-compliance with the treatment plan, or a participant absconding, to the Program DCA within 48 hours of becoming aware of issue using the Form 4 - Non-Compliance Report. The case manager shall have discretion to determine what constitutes substantial non-compliance with a treatment plan.
NOTE: CCAO is not a provider of treatment services and makes no representation by offering, structuring, or conducting this Program that it is.
This Program is being undertaken by CCAO based upon the current availability of treatment and related services by third party providers in the Flagstaff area, none of which are under the control of the CCAO. In the event the services needed to support this Program are no longer made available by the third party providers, CCAO is not obligated to find or secure substitutes. In its sole discretion, CCAO may then terminate this Program with notice to the participants and move to reinstate prosecution.