What’s a key challenge Stanislaus faces in starting court-ordered mental health treatment?

Stanislaus County and Superior Court officials are aiming to meet a state timeline to launch CARE Court in October as one way to expand treatment for a growing population with untreated severe mental illness.

Stanislaus is one of the first seven counties in California to test the Community Assistance Recovery and Empowerment program to see if court-ordered treatment can be effective. County officials are expecting challenges, including housing and limited space in residential care facilities.

Other counties in the state will implement CARE in December 2024.

Stanislaus will receive $3.7 million for planning and implementing the program, in which a civil court can order mental health treatment for adults. In addition, Gov. Gavin Newsom’s recent state budget revision included CARE Court funding for counties going forward, though officials don’t know how much for Stanislaus.

Officials expect CARE Court will be held twice a week, starting in the fall, to handle

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