In Sacramento Superior Court's Mental Health Court, there are plenty of congratulations and plenty of cupcakes for people who used to be known as defendants but who are now known as participants. They stand before Judge Larry Brown. An attorney updates the judge on the status of a participant.
"I am happy to report his drug test was negative." Brown responds, "Great! That's terrific. Good job."
Judge Larry Brown gently reminds one of the participants in the County's mental health program that progress involves a little work, "None of this punishment. It's all about having part of a structured program, right?"
On this day, Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye sits in the jury box as an observer. She says only 27 of the 58 counties have a mental health court.
Read the whole story at Capital Public Radio