32nd Judicial District
Mental Health Court
32ND JUDICIAL DISTRICT
Judge Michael Spitzer
In 2023, 32nd Judicial District Circuit Judge Michael Spitzer partnered with Lewis County Mayor Jonah Keltner to apply for and administer one of the first Mental Health Court programs in the state.
About the program
The MHC Program is designed to be a minimum of 12 months, consisting of five (5) phases; each phase having a minimum time to complete. The MHC program incorporates supervision through judicial leadership, oversight, and treatment to support participants through their recovery process. Treatment may consist of residential, inpatient, and outpatient treatment, or a combination of any of the above. These services may be provided through the MHC program and/or community resources. MH Court is a VOLUNTARY program for its participants but requires approval of the prosecutor, defense counsel, Judge Spitzer and the MHC treatment team.
The mission of the 32nd Judicial District Mental Health Court is to provide individualized treatment programs, linking participants with mental health service providers, and reducing incarceration and recidivism through a combination of mental health treatment
and court supervision.
About Judge Spitzer
Judge Spitzer is a lifetime resident of Lewis County and Hohenwald where he practiced law for xx years. In 2018, Spitzer was appointed to the 21st Judicial District by Governor Bill Haslam after determining the rural counties comprised of the 21st Judicial District needed a Circuit Judge of thier own. In 2022, after the creation of the 32nd Judicial District, Judge Spitzer was elected as Circuit Court Judge.
About the 32nd Judcial District
The 32nd Judicial District was established in 2022 after the State of Tennessee Determined Hickman, Lewis, and Perry Counties were in need of their own Judicial District.
CIRCUIT COURT JUDGE & MHC DIRECTOR
29 West Main Street
Hohenwald, TN 38462
8:00AM - 4:00PM
Monday - Friday
Mental Health Court Director
Judge Spitzer appointed Denise Staggs as Director of the Mental Health Court Program. Denise has an extensive background in K-12 education with over 30 years of expirence, recently retired from Lewis County Schools. She holds a Masters Degree in Education and a Masters Degree in Special Education.
As Mental Health Court Director, Denise is committed to using her educational background and leadership expirence to foster the well-being and mental health of our judicial district community. Her focus is on developing initiatives that address the unique mental health needs of our residents in the 32nd Judicial District. By blending her skills in the program development, goal orientation, and adaptability, Denise hopes to contribute meaningfully to this important community development program.
Some of the key responsibilities of the Mental Health Court Director include general oversight of the treatment court, including meeting attendence and grant reporting; communication with partner agencies; Organization of court events, meetings, and compilation of supporting materials for stakeholders; Annual update of Mental Health Court policies and proceedures.
Candiate must…*Voluntarily agree to enter Mental Health Court. *Be (18) years or older. *Reside with the 32 nd Judicial District (Lewis, Hickman, or Perry counties). *Must NOT have violent charges that would make them ineligible. *Must HAVE a documented diagnosis of a severe and persistent mental illness. *Must have all legal matters in other courts and/or other jurisdictions resolved. *Must be high risk, high need as indicated by the TNRAS. *Must sign a release (HIPPA Form) to share Mental Health information with the program director and other mental health specialists who are part of the program.