It is the mission of the H.E.L.P. Program to provide alternatives to incarceration for individuals who have been identified with mental health issues by linking those individuals to local, community-based treatment resources with the goal of reducing recidivism and helping to prevent further involvement in the criminal justice system. We accomplish this by using the strengths of the individual, family, and the community.
The Hall County H.E.L.P. Program is a minimum of 20-26 months in duration and consists of five phases. Both misdemeanor and felony charges are accepted, as well as post-plea/pre-sentencing and probation revocations. Legal eligibility refers to the prosecution’s determination of the appropriateness of a candidate’s admission to the program based on current charges, criminal history, residential requirements, and other relevant issues. Exclusionary legal criteria includes, but is not limited to, the following charges: murder, rape, aggravated sodomy, aggravated child molestation, child molestation, kidnapping with bodily injury, armed robbery, and sexual offenses.
Participants must be 18 years of age or older and reside in Hall County. Individuals diagnosed with a severe and persistent mental illnesses and/or co-occurring disorders may be clinically eligible for the program. A primary diagnosis of a substance use disorder may qualify, if accompanied by a mental health disorder. Eligible diagnoses include those that can be managed with treatment and which would benefit from medication, therapeutic interventions, psychoeducational interventions, and/or peer support. Full participation in the recommended treatment program as directed may include, but is not limited to, inpatient or outpatient treatment, residential placement, and medication management. Mental Health treatment is an essential function of the H.E.L.P. Program and willingness to comply with treatment as directed is a vital requirement for enrollment eligibility and continued participation in the program.
Referrals for H.E.L.P. Program participation come from the Hall County Sheriff’s Office, the Gainesville Police Department, the District Attorney’s Office, the Hall County Solicitor-General’s Office, the Public Defender’s Office, the Hall County Detention Center, Department of Community Supervision, misdemeanor probation, private defense attorneys, and other accountability court programs. Family members may make referrals to the program if the individual being referred has legal charges in Hall County.
Court sessions begin at 3:00 pm every Monday.
2019 Graduation Dates:
“Since I have been in Hall County (HELP Program), I have been able to separate myself from all my previous acquaintances. I have been able to become a successful member of society who honestly wanted to give up at time but you all continued to push me to do and become the best I can be.”
“I almost feel comfortable being myself. This has allowed me to go to work and get in shape. I made a handful of quality friends in the process. I am making my family proud. I am making Treatment Services proud. I am even sometimes proud of myself which is a novel feeling since it has been long absent in my life. There are times when I have peace, true peace. The kind people write about when describing serenity. A peace where I can feel safe bringing to the forefront the good qualities I’ve always wanted to share with the world.”