Judge Elizabeth Metzger is pictured with volunteers and court partners from the Pet Therapy Dog Program. The purpose of this program is to offer comfort and support to children involved in the Dependency System and to those involved in Mental Health Court. Therapy dogs are included in an effort to make the court experience as stress-free of an environment as possible. The handler serves as the advocate for the therapy dog at all times. The handler assists in the introduction of the pet to the child or adult participant in court. Team members’ exclusive role is centered on the participant's visit to the courthouse and in ensuring that the experience is as positive as possible.
Mental Health Court is for people diagnosed with a severe mental illness or a developmental disability, and charged with either a misdemeanor or felony. The Program provides court supervision and treatment through collaboration with state, county, and community agencies. The Court is therapeutic and provides case management, therapy and other services to reduce recidivism.