Southwest Iowa Mental Health Court

The County Attorney is a member of the Mental Health Court.  Other members include: Adult Probation, SWI Region Case Managers, the Public Defender, Pottawattamie County Jail, Integrated Health Home, Council Bluffs Police Department, a therapist, and a District Court Judge.

What is Mental Health Court (MHC)?

  • An alternative to jail for persons with chronic mental health needs who commit crimes meeting established criteria.
  • An intensive individualized service that will help these offenders with chronic mental health needs treat their illness, take their medication as prescribed, meet their basic food and shelter needs, and avoid expensive incarceration or hospitalization.
  • A sentence that provides maximum opportunity for the rehabilitation of the defendant, the protection of the community from further offenses by the defendant, and consideration of victim’s rights and safety.

Who is eligible?

General Criteria

  • Adults (18+) or Juveniles waived to adult court.
  • The individual agrees to participate in court ordered treatment.
  • Must be a Fourth Judicial District court case and reside within Southwest Iowa MHDS Region.
  • Current charges of misdemeanors or non-violent felonies.
  • No mandatory minimums or forcible felonies allowed.
  • No offenses involving firearms allowed; other weapons will be considered on a case by case basis.
  • Must enter a guilty plea pursuant to a plea agreement.
  • Must have a new criminal Charge or Report of Probation Violation.
  • Supervised Probation of 12-14 months.
  • Must have a Mental Health Diagnosis.
  • No adjudicated Sex Offenders or Parole Cases allowed.
  • Must agree to meet regularly with Case Manager.
  • Must have ability to meet with MHC at least monthly or as deemed necessary by the court and follow all MHC recommendations.

Clinical Diagnostic Criteria

  • A Mental Disorder as classified by the DSM-5.
    • Schizophrenia Spectrum and other Psychotic Disorders
    • Bipolar and Related Disorders
    • Depressive Disorders
    • Anxiety Disorders
    • Obsessive-Compulsive and Related Disorders
    • Trauma-and Stresessor-Related Disorders
    • Dissociative Disorders
  • A need for intensive team supervision to access community services.
  • No Clients with a primary diagnosis of Substance-Related and Addiction Disorders, Personality Disorders, or Paraphilic Disorders.
  • Special needs clients (Brain Injury, Developmental Disabilities) will be reviewed on a case by case basis.

How do you get involved?

  • Referrals can be made by anyone and the form can be found here.  Please fill out the referral form to the best of your ability and email it to or mail it to Pottawattamie County Community Services, 515 5th Avenue, Room 113, Council Bluffs, IA 51503;
    Attention:  Mental Health Court Case Manager.
  • Applications must be made by the defendant’s attorney and can be found here.  Applications can be sent to the Mental Health Court Case Manager at and Kerrie Snyder at

In the Spotlight

Hope 4 Iowa

The HOPE 4 IOWA Crisis Call Line connects individuals in crisis to a helping hand and the resources to address and improve mental wellness. Available 24/7. For more information visit our website here.








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Pottawattamie County Emergency Notification System

Pottawattamie Alert is the countywide emergency notification system serving all residents within Pottawattamie County and its communities.

Part of the Alert Iowa System, Pottawattamie Alert is a high-speed notification and weather warning service. This no-charge service is available to businesses and residents of Pottawattamie County and its Communities that allows public officials to warn citizens of pending emergencies, critical public information during disasters, recommended protective actions, and provides automated severe weather warnings tailored to your preferences. The system can also be used to provide other important information to communities.