Felony Mental Health and Drug Court

Felony Mental Health

The 17th Judicial Circuit Felony Mental Health court was the first of its kind in the nation. The court was created on October 17, 2003 by Administrative Order to provide services for those persons charged with felony offenses who have been deemed incompetent to proceed. Court services include competency restoration, case management, linkage to mental health out- patient and residential treatment, assistance with housing, therapy and medication management. When requested, the court also commits defendants, where appropriate, to forensic hospital care.

The court works with the person charged, their family, the victim, and community mental health providers to create an individualized cost-effective plan of treatment for a defendant suffering from mental health issues. Agencies and providers in the mental health court include Henderson and Archways, the Agency for Persons with Disabilities, Broward Regional Health Planning Council, Broward Behavioral Health Coalition, the Broward County Elderly and Veterans Services, the Florida Department of Corrections, probation and parole services, the Office of the State Attorney, the Office of the Public Defender, the Office of Regional Conflict Council, private criminal defense attorneys and local law enforcement.

As a case progresses in the mental health court, regular psychological evaluations are ordered and hearings held to determine if the person charged has attained competency. Upon entry of an order of restoration to competency, certain cases are eligible to remain in felony mental health court for final disposition which include downward departure hearings and sentencing of the Defendant pursuant to a negotiated open plea.

For further information on Felony Mental Health Court:

Hon. Ari Abraham Porth, Circuit Court Judge (954) 831-6905

Mental Health dockets are held on Wednesday, Thursday & Friday in Courtroom 7810@10am

Felony Drug Court

Please Note: Drug Court will begin having regular Drug Court Dockets starting August 2nd. All hearings will be in-person for participants.

Zoom Meeting ID: https://17thflcourts.zoom.us/j/873944477

Dial by phone: (888)475-4499 US Toll-free, (833)548-0276 US Toll-free, (833)548-0282 US Toll-free, (877)853-5257 US Toll-free, (786)635-1003, +1 (312)626-6799, +1 (646)876-9923

Meeting ID: 873-944-477

The 17th Judicial Circuit Felony Drug Court is one of the largest drug courts in the country, providing services to over 1,000 people per year. The Felony Drug Court saves taxpayers’ money, reduces crime and helps restore people’s lives. Defendants placed on drug offender probation may also qualify to be monitored by the Felony Drug Court.

The court works closely with the Broward Sheriff’s Office Drug Court Program, Broward Addiction Recovery Center and other private providers. Participants are assessed for treatment needs and services and then offered appropriate services (such as drug treatment, mental health services, trauma-informed services, transportation and housing assistance and interview and job training). Participation in the Felony Drug Court program typically involves regular court appearances, individual and group therapy, frequent and random drug testing, and attending fellowships. Participants can be rewarded for doing well or sanctioned when they do not live up to their obligations. A person completes the Felony Drug Court program when he or she has finished treatment and is a productive member of society. Anyone interested in having a case transferred to Felony Drug Court should first contact Russell Edwards, the Drug Court Coordinator. His contact information is listed below.

For further information on Felony Drug Court:

Felony Drug Court Website

Russell Edwards, Drug Court Coordinator (954) 831-6372 redwards@17th.flcourts.org

Hon. Judge Michael Davis, Circuit Court Judge (954) 831-7819

Felony Drug Court dockets are held Monday-Friday in Courtroom 6840@ 9:00 am except arraignment orientations start at 8:00 a.m. on Wednesdays