Juvenile Mental Health Court: Rationale and Protocols – On Feb. 14, 2001, the nation’s first juvenile mental health court processed its debut calendar in Santa Clara County (San Jose), California. This debut was the culmination of nine months of judicially convened meetings to establish ground rules and develop relationships. It took the efforts of many contributors— from multiple disciplines under strong judicial sponsorship and leadership—to realize the goal of becoming the first county in the nation aimed at making mental health concerns a priority in dealing with certain juvenile offenders. Although the court required the realignment of existing resources, it did not require significant new financial resources or personnel for its operation.