IDAHO DRUG COURT AND MENTAL HEALTH COURT ACT
19-5602. Statement of policy. The legislature finds that:
(1) Substance abuse is a contributing cause for much of the crime in Idaho, costs millions of dollars in productivity, contributes to the ever increasing jail and prison populations and adversely impacts Idaho children;
(2) Drug courts which closely supervise, monitor, test and treat substance abusers have proven effective in certain judicial districts in Idaho and in other states in reducing the incidence of drug use, drug addiction, and crimes committed as a result of drug use and drug addiction. Successful drug courts are based on partnerships among the courts, law enforcement, corrections and social welfare agencies;
(3) Mental illness is a substantial contributing cause to crime in Idaho. Crimes committed by persons suffering from mental illness cause substantial losses to persons and business throughout the state and endanger public safety. In addition, millions of dollars are spent each year on the incarceration, supervision and treatment of mentally ill offenders;
(4) Mental health courts in Idaho and other jurisdictions that closely supervise and monitor mentally ill adult and juvenile offenders and oversee their treatment are an innovative alternative to incarceration for certain offenders. Such courts, which can be operated in conjunction with drug courts, have provided a cost-effective approach to addressing the mental health needs of offenders, reducing recidivism, providing community protection, easing the caseload of the courts, and alleviating the problem of increasing prison, jail and detention populations; and
(5) It is in the best interests of the citizens of this state to expand the use of drug courts and mental health courts in Idaho.
The goals of the drug courts and mental health courts created by this chapter are to reduce the overcrowding of jails and prisons, to reduce alcohol and drug abuse and dependency among criminal and juvenile offenders, to hold offenders accountable, to reduce recidivism, and to promote effective interaction and use of resources among the courts, justice system personnel and community agencies.