Eighty participants tuned in to a webinar on Dec. 7 to learn about a successful court discharge protocol implemented at the Ottawa-Carleton Detention Centre (OCDC) and co-developed by CMHA Champlain East.
The overall goal of the court discharge program at OCDC is to help keep individuals with a mental illness out of the criminal justice system.
The webinar was the last in the 2015 series hosted by the Provincial Human Services Justice Coordinating Committee. Participants heard that Individuals with a mental illness who come into contact with the law often face greater challenges within the justice system. The overall goal of the court discharge program at OCDC is to help keep individuals with a mental illness out of the criminal justice system.
The specific objectives of the court discharge program include:
- Providing ongoing services for inmates with mental illness prior to discharge
- Ensuring personal property is released properly for inmates who live with a mental illness
- Identifying gaps in services in court discharge processes.
The partnership with CMHA Champlain East ensures individuals with mental illnesses are assessed properly and are able to participate in the proper discharge planning strategies. In order to participate in the court discharge program, the individual must be 18 years or older, have a mental health disorder and must have been incarcerated at OCDC.
Upon admission to OCDC, a team of health professionals, including a psychologist, and a mental health nurse are available to assess the individual. The court discharge program provides the proper support individuals with mental illness need to navigate the justice system.
To learn more about this innovative program at OCDC, visit the HSJCC website.