The Department's Office of Forensic Services programs serve individuals with disabilities who are involved in the Commonwealth's legal system. In this section you will find useful publications, links to additional resources, information on training opportunities for both mental health and legal professionals, and the Commissioner's List of Qualified Evaluators.
FOR A COMPREHENSIVE DESCRIPTION OF OFFICE OF FORENSIC SERVICES PROGRAMS AND SERVICES CLICK HERE.
FOR A LIST OF STAFF CONTACTS CLICK HERE.
Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity (NGRI) Training:
DBHDS began offering NGRI Training for CSB/BHA Staff as of January 2016. Six regional trainings were held through July 2016. DBHDS plans to offer this training annually. Stay tuned for future training dates.
To view the 2016 NGRI Reference Manual for CSB and BHA Staff created by the Office of Forensic Services,
For more information on the NGRI Training for CSB Staff, contact Sarah Shrum.
Adult Outpatient Competency Restoration Training:
In 2014, the Office of Forensic Services, through a contract with the Institute of Law, Psychiatry, and Public Policy (ILPPP),
developed a training curriculum and to improve training tools for the Community Services Boards to use during their outpatient restoration efforts. The following training topics make up the current Adult Outpatient Competency Restoration Training:
- Law and Competency
- Assessment and Case Management
- Creating a Restoration Plan
- Practical Strategies for Addressing Barriers
- Terminating Services - Knowing When It's Over
Registration for the 2017 Adult Competency Restoration Training for CSB & BHA Staff is now CLOSED!
We will be updating the site once 2018 training dates are scheduled.
For more information on the Competency Restoration training contact Sarah Shrum.
Mental Health Training for Legal Professionals:
The Office of Forensic Services has developed a series of training modules for lawyers, judges, and other members of the judicial system to improve their understanding of individuals with mental illness. If members of the judicial system are interested in partnering with the DBHDS, we would provide staff to support local training efforts free of charge. Requests for training can include one or all of the seven modules that have been developed, and each module will take approximately one hour to present. The Office of Forensic Services has received one (1) CLE credit hour approval from the Virginia State Bar for each of the seven modules below:
- Module 1: The Sequential Intercept Model
- Module 2: Explanation of Mental Disorders
- Module 3: Explanation of Relevant Code Sections for Persons with Mental Illness
- Module 4: Evaluation of Sanity and Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity Plea in Virginia
- Module 5: Mental Health Courts
- Module 6: Enhancing Interactions with Clients who Live with Mental Illness
- Module 7: Working with Adolescents
For more information or to schedule a training please contact Sarah Shrum.
Mental Health Training for Jail Staff:
In 2008, Health Planning Region 1 was awarded a Byrne Grant through the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services to quantify the prevalence of offenders with mental illness in that region's jails using the Brief Jail Mental Health Screen. The Brief Jail Mental Health Screen was developed by Policy Research Associates with funding from the National Institute of Justice, and has been validated through research as an effective tool for jail staff to use in the identification of individuals who are in need of further mental health assessment.
Health Planning Region 1 (HPR 1) is located in the Northwestern and Shenandoah Valley regions of Virginia and is comprised of eight Community Services Boards: Northwestern CSB, Rappahannock Area CSB, Rappahannock-Rapidan CSB, Harrisonburg-Rockingham CSB, Valley CSB, Rockbridge CSB, Region 10 CSB, and Horizon Behavioral Health. With the help of Dr. Jacqueline Buffington-Vollum, formerly of James Madison University, HPR 1 developed and delivered training to jail/correctional staff in the identification of persons with mental illness. Community Services Boards who wish to offer mental health training to jail staff in their catchment areas may find the following materials helpful:
- Mental Health Myths and Facts Quiz (Pre-Test) and Mental Health Myths and Facts Answer Sheet
- Individuals with Mental Illness in the Criminal Justice System - Presentation Part 1
- Signs and Symptoms of Serious Mental Illness - Presentation Part 2
- The Brief Jail Mental Health Screen - Presentation Part 3
- Brief Jail Mental Health Screen Tool
- Effectively Responding to Inmates in Psychiatric Crisis - Presentation Part 4
- Virginia Mental Health Laws Related to Jails - Presentation Part 5
For more information please contact Sarah Shrum.
Cross-Systems Mapping is a dynamic exercise developed to bring stakeholders from both mental health and criminal justice systems to the table with the goal of transforming fragmented systems into a system that makes sense to the people who use it. Based upon the Sequential Intercept Model that was developed by Dr. Mark Munetz and Dr. Patricia Griffin, the mapping exercise is used as a tool for identifying gaps and needs in the system, and for prioritized action planning to improve access to services for justice-involved individuals with serious mental illness.
For more information about Cross-Systems Mapping please contact Sarah Shrum. **Currently DBHDS has had to suspend availability of Cross-Systems Mapping assistance. This site will be updated when the Office of Forensic Services is once again able to assist communities who wish to host a mapping.**
Institute of Law, Psychiatry, and Public Policy (ILPPP) Trainings:
The Institute of Law, Psychiatry and Public Policy offers training programs and sponsors conferences in mental health law, forensic evaluation and related topics. The Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services, through a contract with the ILPPP, developed curricula that meet the training requirements specified in Virginia statute related to forensic evaluations. These programs address adult and juvenile clients separately, and cover basic forensic practice as well as the various code-mandated forensic evaluations which include adjudicative competence, legal sanity, and risk assessment.
Click here to view and register for ILPPP current training opportunities.
Publications and Reports
- List of Standardized Measure of Intellectual Function pursuant to §19.2-264.3:1.1 (B)1 - November 2016
- Creating Opportunities Forensic Workgroup Report 2012 - DBHDS convened a workgroup to conduct a review of the challenges faced in providing comprehensive outpatient and inpatient mental health services to forensic consumers in Virginia.
- A Review of Mental Health Services in Local and Regional Jails 2014 - The Virginia Office of the State Inspector General (OSIG) initiated this review in order to understand how Virginia’s jails are addressing the challenge of serving individuals with mental illness.
- Mental Illness in Jails Report 2014 - The Virginia State Compensation Board produces an annual report of the number and diagnoses of individuals with mental illness in local and regional jails, treatment services, and expenditures.
- 2015 Virginia CIT Annual Report
- 2016 Virginia CIT Assessment Sites Annual Report
- 2015 Virginia Jail Diversion Annual Report
Links and Other Resources
Jail Diversion Helpful Links & Articles:
GAINS Center for Behavioral Health & Justice Transformation Website
Bureau of Justice Assistance Website
Council of State Governments Justice Center Website
National Center for State Courts Website
Addiction Guide Website
- Sequential Intercept Model Article by Dr. Munetz and Dr. Griffin
- GAINS Center Sequential Intercept Graphic
- National Survey of Jail Diversion Programs 2013
- Evidence-Based Strategies for Working with Offenders
- A Checklist for Implementing Evidence-Based Practices and Programs with Justice-Involved Adults with Behavioral Health Disorders
- Moving Toward Evidence-Based Housing Programs for Persons with Mental Illness in Contact with the Justice System
- Motivational Interviewing with Offenders: A Systematic Review
- Trauma-Specific Interventions for Justice Involved Individuals
- Mental Health Docket Fact Sheet 2014
- Improving Responses to Persons with Mental Illness: The Essential Elements of a Mental Health Court
- Mental Health Courts: A Primer for Policymakers and Practitioners
Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) Helpful Links & Articles:
Virginia CIT Coalition Website
CIT International Website
Commissioner’s List of Qualified Evaluators
div> During the 2016 General Assembly session, HB 582 was passed by both the House of Delegates and the Senate and was signed into law by Governor McAuliffe on March 11, 2016. House Bill 582 addresses the professional qualifications of evaluators providing court ordered mental health evaluations pursuant to §19.2-168.1, §19.2-169.1, and §19.2-169.5. House Bill 582 tasks the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services (DBHDS) with maintaining a list of evaluators who have completed forensic evaluation training and have demonstrated competence to perform forensic evaluations.
Below you will find a spreadsheet list of the evaluators who have met the above cited criteria and who have indicated a willingness to accept appointments. The list is comprised exclusively of private evaluators and CSB evaluators and does not include state hospitals who may conduct inpatient evaluations under certain circumstances.
The evaluators are listed based on the geographical area in which they practice and by the type of evaluation for which they have demonstrated professional competency. To find an evaluator you should first locate your region of the state (using the attached form which defines the regions), then look on the list for the type of evaluation you need (Competency to Stand Trial vs. Sanity at the time of the offense). If the court is ordering a combined Competency to Stand Trial and Sanity at the Time of the Offense Evaluation, then use the Sanity list (as all evaluators who are competent to perform sanity at the time of the offense evaluations are also competent to perform Competency to Stand Trial evaluations). Once you locate an evaluator you would like to have appointed, then you should scroll to the far right column where the evaluator has noted any preferences re: appointment, any geographical limitations on their practice, and any other information pertinent to their practice. While some evaluators have indicated a willingness to accept any/all appointments, it would be prudent to contact the evaluator first to ensure they in fact can complete the evaluation in a timely manner and that they have no existing conflicts of interest on the case. Once an evaluator has been selected, then note their name on Line 11 of Form DC 342 and send the signed order to the evaluator.
DBHDS will update the attached spreadsheet as new evaluators request to be included and/or when evaluators no longer are eligible to accept appointment. DBHDS will provide routine updates to the list, but you can also find the spreadsheet on the DBHDS website at the following link:
List of Qualified Forensic Evaluators Maintained by the Commissioner of DBHDS
Evaluators who wish to be considered for inclusion on this list must submit an APPLICATION and return this application by mail or fax to:
Attn: Angela Torres, Ph.D., ABPP
Forensic Evaluation Oversight Manager
Virginia Department of Behavioral Health & Developmental Services
P.O. Box 1791, Richmond, VA 23218
If you have any questions or concerns regarding the list of evaluators you can contact Angela Torres, Ph.D., ABPP at firstname.lastname@example.org