Balloon Fiesta

Explore Section

Behavioral Health Court

The Behavioral Health Court seeks to empower individuals with a mental health diagnosis who are in the criminal justice system to live crime-free, stable lives and to be productive members of the community.

The mission of the Bernalillo County Metropolitan Court’s Behavioral Health Court is to increase public safety, reduce recidivism, alleviate mental health symptoms, and provide substance abuse treatment in a safe environment. Through a collaborative effort and individualized treatment, this court aims to improve the quality of life for people with a mental health diagnosis charged with a crime by reducing criminogenic behavior and providing lifelong stability.

The Honorable Joshua J. Sánchez presides over Behavioral Health Court. The program provides the citizens of Bernalillo County and their loved ones the necessary judicial support sometimes required for successful rehabilitation of those affected by serious mental illness.

Enrollment in the Behavioral Health Court is voluntary. The Behavioral Health Court team consists of a program manager, a case manager, a public defender, an assistant district attorney and a probation officer who oversee the program and have special expertise working with individuals with mental illness. The program is also contracted with local treatment providers to ensure that all participants are receiving clinically appropriate mental health and substance abuse treatment. Depending upon their progress, defendants spend between six months to a year in the Behavioral Health Court program.

Additional information can be obtained by contacting the Metropolitan Court Behavioral Health Division at (505) 938-4272.