Providing zealous, effective, ethical representation

to indigent people accused of crimes.

 

 

 

 

Athens Clark Image 1Western Circuit Treatment and Accountability Court

Judge: David E. Sweat

Coordinator: Elisa Zarate

Telephone: (706) 354-3995

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Clarke County & Oconee County

 


The Treatment and Accountability Court's (TAC's) target population is primarily composed of homeless individuals who have a mental health diagnosis, the chronically incarcerated, and those with co-occurring substance abuse disorders. TAC praticipants must meet the criteria for a major mental disorder as defined by the current Diagnostci and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM V). Individuals with co-occurringg substance abuse disorders are also eligible when their mental health diagnosis is primary. TAC also accepts individuals with a personality disorder when their mental illness is severely compromising their ability to function in the appropriate treatment resources.

To be considered for TAC, an offender must be charged with, convicted of, or on probation for a misdeamor or felony offense where the behavior that led to the offense was connected to mental illness. The offender's prior criminal history and mental health history are major considerations in determining eligibility. participation in TAC is voluntary, and the offender must be willing to engage in consistent community or private-pay treatment. The offender also must be willing to sign a release of information for details pertaining to mental health treatment, substance abuse, legal status, and health history, which is shared with the TAC Team. To be accepted, the TAC Judge and TAC Team must generally agree that the potential participant can benefit from the treatment options available through TAC, and the heightened supervision of the program. Clients are taken on a post-adjudication basis from new charges or probation violations.

TAC provides program participants a joint opportunity to pursue mental health treatment and address related legal programs. TAC strives to improve services to participants by assuming a continuum of care and easy access to mental health and addictive disease services. TAC provides participants witht he tools to manage their mental illness and build a stable life while reducing jail time and improving public safety.

Mental health services are provided for the court from a number of sources, including Advantage Mental Health Services, True Comfort, ACT (Assertive Community Treatment), Women's Services and housing vouchers for those participants receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

Edward Brumbey of the Public Defender's Office and Paige Otwell of the District Attorney's Office serve on the Accountability Team, along with with law enforcement, treatment staff, county probation, and TAC staff.