"People with mental illness comprise a significant proportion of the population involved with the criminal justice system. The Bureau of Justice Statistics reports that at midyear 2005, over half of state prison and local jail inmates had a mental health problem. Mental health courts were developed to respond to the large number of people in the criminal justice systems with mental illness. The federal government provides funding to support mental health courts across the country through the Justice and Mental Health Collaboration program. The purpose of the program is to increase public safety by facilitating collaboration among the criminal justice, juvenile justice, mental health treatment, and substance abuse systems to increase access to treatment for offenders with mental illness. Authorized funding for this program is set to expire at the end of FY2014. Congress is considering legislation that would both expand the scope of the program and reauthorize appropriations through FY2019."
CRS Report for Congress, R42716