In his opening remarks during the Law Week Proclamation at the Guma Hustisia last May 14, Supreme Court Associate Justice John A. Manglona shared updates on the formation of the Mental Health Court that was initially announced to the public during the CNMI Drug Court Month proclamation on May 6.
“The Judiciary aims to activate [the] Mental Health Docket in July. The Supreme Court is currently reviewing the proposed policy and procedures, and our Working Group meets regularly in an effort to make the live date of July 6 possible,” said Manglona last Friday.
Also according to Manglona, as per a May 20 update the Mental Health Court will be handled by Presiding Judge Roberto C. Naraja. Manglona also mentioned that Associate Judge Teresa Kim-Tenorio and Drug Court manager Edward Diaz were “heavily involved” in drafting the policy and procedures manual for the Mental Health Court, and will assist in setting up its staffing requirements.
Manglona shared that “coordination is ongoing” with Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. CEO Esther Muna and the Community Guidance Center, and that, similar to the Drug Court, the Office of the Attorney General, the Public Defender’s Office, and other agencies will be involved with the program.
Funding for the behavioral health services in the Judiciary’s treatment courts will be coming from allocated resources granted to the Judiciary via the American Rescue Plan Act.
“More information on this important undertaking will be provided as we draw closer to Mental Health Court’s activation date,” said Manglona.