The Supreme Court of South Carolina
Richland County JUVENILE Mental Health Court
I FIND that there are a rapidly increasing number of mentally ill juveniles with or without substance abuse issues involved in the juvenile justice system. There is a recognized need to treat and rehabilitate those juveniles qualified to participate in a Juvenile Mental Health Court. The intent of the Richland County Juvenile Mental Health Court is to provide treatment services to juvenile offenders, and to assist in the rehabilitation and education of them and their families so that further involvement in the juvenile justice system is avoided.
NOW, THEREFORE, pursuant to Article V, Section 4 of the South Carolina Constitution,
IT IS ORDERED that effective on the date of this order, this court approves the establishment of the Richland County Juvenile Mental Health Court. Any juvenile defendants with pending charges, who are suffering from mental illness and/or mental illness with a co-occurring disorder of substance abuse, may have their charges transferred to the Richland County Juvenile Mental Health Court by a Family Court Judge, once they have been referred and accepted for admission into the program.
Upon successful completion of the program, the Richland County Juvenile Mental Health Court will notify the Family Court. When a juvenile fails to complete the program or voluntarily withdraws, the charges must be referred back to the Family Court for final adjudication and disposition.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the Richland County Probate Judge and any Associate Judge(s) designated to Juvenile Mental Health Court are hereby assigned to preside over the Richland County Juvenile Mental Health Court. Pursuant to this assignment, the Richland County Probate Judge and any Associate Judge(s) are responsible for administering the program and coordinating with the S.C. Department of Mental Health; Columbia Area Mental Health Center; Lexington/Richland Alcohol and Drug Abuse Council; Fifth Circuit Solicitor's Office; Richland County Public Defender’s Office/Private Defense Attorneys; private mental health care providers, law enforcement agencies, the Department of Juvenile Justice, and any other entity involved in providing services to the juveniles. The Richland County Probate Judge(s) shall be responsible for overseeing all juveniles referred to and accepted by the Richland County Juvenile Mental Health Court.
This order is effective immediately and remains in effect unless amended or rescinded by Order of the Chief Justice.
s/Jean H. Toal
Jean H. Toal
Chief Justice of South Carolina
Columbia, South Carolina
May 28, 2014