About the Program
The Misdemeanor Mental Health Court (MMHC) is a collaborative, problem-solving arm of the Criminal Justice System, created in 2010 by Judge Ben W. “Bud” Childers, in which probationers living with a mental illness adhere to a judicially supervised restoration program and/or plan that is monitored by the Fort Bend County Probation Department and Judge Christopher G. Morales of County Court at Law No. 1. The goal of MMHC is to reduce recidivism rates of those diagnosed with mental illness and provide them with keys to becoming successful and productive citizens.
MMHC is designed to leverage local and national resources to the benefit of the defendant living with mental illness. These resources include connecting offenders with doctors and governmental services, medication compliance oversight, intensive probation supervision and inpatient/outpatient treatments. Once a Defendant successfully completes the program, he/she will potentially continue to have these resources available to them for continued care.
MMHC is structured as a two-tier program. Tier 1 consists of a pre-trial diversionary program. If eligible, a defendant may enter the program through a 6-month or 12-month deferred prosecution agreement. If a defendant successfully completes the program, the Defendant’s charges will be dismissed by the Fort Bend County District Attorney’s Office and an expunction application will be submitted to the Felony Mental Health Court within 30 days of dismissal. Tier 2 is a traditional plea agreement, consisting of deferred adjudication or straight probation. If eligible, a defendant may enter the program through a deferred adjudication plea, which may last anywhere from 6 to 24 months or a straight probation plea lasting anywhere from 12 to 24 months.
Attorneys, who find that their client is interested in entering the program or that the program is best suited for a potential client, please download the MMHC Application and follow the included instructions
MMHC Dockets are held on the 2nd and 4th Friday of the month at 2:00 p.m.
Help or Questions
If you have any questions regarding the program, feel free to contact the Court at 281-633-7415, or the Court Coordinator, Sarah Toler at Sarah.Toler@fortbendcountytx.gov.
For additional questions regarding the MMHC Application or medical history documentation please contact the Fort Bend County District Attorney’s Office Mental Health Division at 281-341-4460.