Nez Perce County Mental Health Treatment Diversion Courts


Prior to being accepted into any Treatment Diversion Court, the defendant must complete some MANDATORY evaluations and be "accepted" by the Team, Coordinator, Judge, and prosecutor. These forms are for informational purposes only. The official contract will be provided to your attorney upon completion of required evaluations.

Mental Health Court (felony and misdemeanor)

Contact Us:

Court Coordinator: Norman Embry

Phone: 208-254-0603


Fax: 888-789-3193

Presiding Judge: The Honorable Michelle Evans

P.O. Box 896

Lewiston, ID 83501

Phone: 208-799-3050

Fax: 888-789-3193

Mental Health Court Schedule:

Staffing: Wednesdays, weekly, 7:30am – 8:30am

Court: Wednesdays, weekly, 8:30am – 9:30am

Location: 1230 Main St, Courtroom 3

Zoom Information:

Meeting ID: 983 2002 7557

Passcode: 452440

Phase 1+2: Attends court weekly on Wednesdays

Phase 3: Attends court the 1st and 3rd Wednesdays of the month

Phase 4+5: Attends court the 1st Wednesday of the month

Drug Testing:   

Mental Health Court requires random and frequent testing for all participants who are in the program. Testing occurs on a random basis on any day during the week, including weekends and holidays. Participants will call the UA line daily according to the procedure set by their program. All positive tests are sent in for confirmation.

Location of Testing: ChangePoint, 1020 Main St. Lewiston, ID

Time of Testing: 2:00pm – 4:15pm

Call in Time:  8:30am

Phone Number: 484-357-1190

Participants may request to drug test at another location in District 2. Please reach out to the Coordinator for more information.

What is Mental Health Court?:

Mental Health Court is designed for high risk/high need offenders who are suffering from severe and persistent mental illness. Mental Health Court provides intensive outpatient treatment, medication management, individual and group counseling, increased supervision and weekly  review hearings with the Mental Health Court Judge. Mental Health Court is designed to keep mentally ill offenders out of the prison system. Mental Health Court follows evidence based practice in the design and implementation of their programs. Participants are expected to follow program rules and participate in treatment. The length of the program ranges between 17-30 months long followed by a period of supervised probation at a minimum of 6 months. Upon graduation, participants may receive a reduction in sentence, dismissal or avoid imposition of sentence and/or prison (riders). Participants are subject to sanctions and incentives depending on their progress in the program.

When did the program start:  2007

·        Judge:  Michelle Evans

·        Prosecutor: Nathan Rupp

·        Public Defender: Joanna McFarland

·        Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Treatment Providers:

o    Riverside Recovery: Sara Bennett, Bri Nelson, Rami Nichols and Cynthia Ford

o   Department of Health and Welfare: Laura Thayer, Mackenzie Garrison, Shannon Jones, Benjamin Elger, and Jeb Simpson

·        Idaho Department of Corrections Probation & Parole: Shane Quinn

·        Justice Services, Misdemeanor Probation:  JD Storm

·        Vocational Rehabilitation:  Lamisse Williams

·        Nez Perce County Sheriff Deputy:  Jared Gurney


Nez Perce County Mental Health Court currently partners with Riverside Recovery located at 1720 18th St. Lewiston and The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare located at 1118 F. St. Lewiston. Upon initial application to Mental Health Court, the participant will meet with one of the counselors at Riverside Recovery or DHW for a mental health evaluation. Based upon the assessment recommendations and acceptance to the program, the participant will be assigned groups and an individual counselor. All participants must apply for Medicaid.

How to apply:

Anyone may apply to Mental Health Court. Most referrals are received from defense attorney’s, probation officers, judges, and treatment providers. In most cases a defendant’s attorney will refer their client to the program. Defense attorney’s must receive the prosecutor’s approval to screen for pre-sentenced cases. For post-sentenced cases and probation violations, Department of Corrections must be in agreement to have the defendant screened. If you would like to refer your client to Mental Health Court, please review our eligibility requirements first, then fill out the referral form below and submit to If the defendant’s case is out of county, please check with the coordinator first to see if they are accepting out of county cases at that time.


·        Must be currently charged with a felony or misdemeanor offense related to their mental illness or a felony probation violation related to mental illness

·        LSI between 18-40

·        Assessment indicating a severe and persistent mental illness

·              Bipolar

·              Major Depression (Severe/Recurrent)

·              Schizophrenia

·              Schizoid Disorder

·              Psychotic Disorder

·        Cannot have pled, found guilty, adjudicated or charged with a felony sex offense (juvenile or adult)

·        Charges must be related to lack of managing mental illness

·        Violent charges are reviewed on a case by case basis

·        Pled guilty to charges as agreed upon by the Prosecuting Attorney and the Defense Attorney


After being referred to Mental Health Court, the Coordinator will make contact with the defendant for a screening to further determine eligibility. After completing the screening the defendant will meet with a Probation Officer for an LSI Evaluation. Upon completing the LSI, the defendant will meet with a staff member from Riverside Recovery or Department of Health and Welfare for a mental health evaluation. After all of these appointments are completed, the defendant’s case will be presented to the Nez Perce County Mental Health Court Team during staffing. Determining of Mental Health Court eligibility is completed within 3-4 weeks.

If the defendant is accepted:

1.     Defendant must enter a guilty plea or plead guilty to their probation violations

2.     Defendant, defense counsel, prosecutor will sign the disposition agreement and file with the drug court clerk

3.     All documents must be completed at change of plea/sentencing/disposition, please complete the contract and file with the court.

If the defendant is denied, their case is further reviewed by their sentencing judge for further proceedings.

How long does Mental Health Court last and what are the expectations?

Mental Health Court length is determined by the participant’s progress, but is a minimum of 17 months and consists of: 

·        Weekly Review Hearings

·        Substance Use Disorder Treatment (individual counseling and group counseling)

·        Intensive community supervision (felony probation/misdemeanor probation)

·        Referrals to housing, education, vocational training, employment, specialized counseling

·        Random and frequent drug testing

·        Rewards and sanctions are used to change behaviors

·        Upon graduation- a minimum of 6 months of supervised probation

What happens if a participant violates their contract or probation while in Mental Health Court?

·        Verbal Warning

·        Paper

·        Curfew Reduction

·        Increased Supervision

·        Community Service

·        GPS Monitoring

·        Jail

·        Termination

What happens if a participant is terminated from Mental Health Court?

A participant may be recommend to be removed or terminated from the program if they can no longer can be managed safely in the community or if they fail repeatedly to comply with treatment or supervision requirements and/or for failure to progress in the program. The Mental Health Court team decides whether or not to recommend removal from the program. The Judge makes the final determination in the case for removal. Once there is a recommendation for removal the participant will meet with their attorney and reviews options to request a due process hearing, and, if requested, to have the hearing presided over by a judge other than the Mental Health Court Judge. Upon discussion with counsel, the participant may decide to waive the due process hearing. The participant would then appear before their sentencing judge.

What happens if the participant graduates from the program?

Upon graduation, the participant will return back to supervision under Felony Probation and Parole of Misdemeanor Probation for a minimum of six months. Once they have graduated from Mental Health Court, they are no longer in the Mental Health Court program. Mental Health Court graduates may speak with their probation officer and/or attorney if they would like to be released from supervision earlier. Ultimately, the disposition agreement will dictate what occurs upon graduation from Mental Health Court program. 

Mental Health Court Documents:

Referral Form  Referral Form for District Treatment Court Programs 6-2023

Trial Court Administrator

Roland Gammill
P. O. Box 896
Lewiston, ID 83501
Telephone 208-799-3077
Fax 888-789-3193

Merilynn Scharnhorst - Deputy Trial Court Administrator
Telephone 208-799-3056

Judicial Branch - State of Idaho State of Idaho

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