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Mental Health / Competency

Mental Health / Competency

Counseling Session

The Dallas County Criminal Justice Department contains the Mental Health Jail Diversion Unit, which operates to provide services in the areas of competency, specialty courts, and special populations. It also functions to deliver service in various other ways whenever possible in order to best assist those individuals who are both criminal justice involved and living with mental illness.


Individuals in the criminal justice system that are found incompetent to stand trial are serviced through the Mental Health Jail Diversion Unit through coordination between Courts, attorneys, treatment providers, and state hospitals. The Competency Coordinator assists in navigating the competency process, from concern that the individual may potentially be incompetent to stand trial, all the way through case disposition. Work is completed to help track, connect, and coordinate individuals to obtain competency restoration either on an inpatient or an outpatient level. The Mental Health Jail Diversion Unit is also actively and collaboratively involved in the Misdemeanor Outpatient Competency Restoration Court program.

Specialty Court Coordination

The Mental Health Jail Diversion Unit works to partner with the Dallas County specialty courts. This is done through the work of the Specialty Court Coordinator, partnership through various grant projects, and monitoring and facilitation of the 530 Fund that benefits certified specialty courts and their participants. The goal is to increase interdepartmental collaboration, to assist courts in compliance with evidenced-based best practices and standards, and to ensure each court has access to resources and support.

Specialty Populations

The Mental Health Jail Diversion Unit tracks and monitors individuals who enter the criminal justice system that are identified as homeless, pregnant, or with Veteran status. This work is done to help identify trends, and to connect the individuals within these populations to services, resources, and to engage them in diversion efforts and programs.