3rd District Juvenile Court - Care Court

The Third District Juvenile Court is engaged in a collaborative project, along with its partners, to maintain a mental health court specific to juvenile offenders who have a diagnosable mental illness. Those agencies involved in the project are: Valley Mental Health, Division of Child & Family Services, Division of Juvenile Justice Services, Salt Lake County District Attorney's office, Salt Lake County Sheriff's office, Salt Lake County Division of Substance Abuse Services, Utah Juvenile Defenders, Granite School District, and the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill-Utah chapter (NAMI). The purpose of the CARE Court is to implement a dynamic environment within the current court system that is able to address community safety, offender accountability, and increase offender competency, while reducing the penetration of mentally ill youth into the juvenile justice system.

The collaboration between juvenile justice, mental health, substance abuse, social services and school district professionals creates a coordination of care that provides expanded community support, family support, educational support, competency development and expanded treatment options while reducing the occurrence of delinquencies and community harm. Individualized treatment plans focus on providing services that are strength-based, family-focused, evidenced-based and culturally sensitive. The plan has measurable goals and objectives that address target behaviors in the areas of school, home and therapy.

The Care Court has served many clients since its inception in January 2006, and has had a number of successful graduates. Court records indicate a significant reduction in charges for CARE Court clients while also recording an improvement in their school attendance and GPA. Therapists, families, and participants have reported an increased compliance with therapy, skill building and medication compliance.

For more information please contact:  Paydon Barnhart 801-238-7008