Individuals who have been found not guilty by reason of insanity (insanity acquittees, acquittees, NGRIs) by Virginia criminal courts pose a unique challenge to Virginia’s mental health service system. These individuals require attention for clinical and legal needs as a result of their connection to both the mental health and criminal justice systems. This manual outlines the basic expectations regarding the management of individuals found not guilty by reason of insanity. This information should assist administrators, clinicians, court personnel, treatment team members in state operated mental health facilities, and staff of community services boards in evaluating, treating, and managing individuals found not guilty by reason of insanity in a manner that is consistent with legal mandates and professional standards.
This set of guidelines is based on Virginia Code Sections 19.2-167 through 19.2-182 which describe proceedings on the question of insanity, Virginia Code Sections 19.2-182.2 through 19.2-182.16 which describe the legal process for Virginia’s disposition of individuals found not guilty by reason of insanity, and Virginia Code Section 19.2-174.1 which describes the information required prior to admission to a mental health facility.
NGRI Guidelines for the Management of Individuals Found Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity (2021):
- NGRI Guidelines 2021- Introduction & Table of Contents
- Chapter 1 – The Insanity Defense in Virginia
- Chapter 2 – Temporary Custody for Evaluation
- Chapter 3 – Commitment to the Commissioner
- Chapter 4 – Privileging Process for Insanity Acquittees
- Chapter 5 – Planning for Conditional Release
- Chapter 6 – Conditional Release and Release Without Conditions
- Chapter 7 – Misdemeanant NGRIs
- Appendix A – Analysis of Risk
- Appendix B – Working with Virginia Courts
- Appendix C – Commissioner Appointed Evals for the Court
- Appendix D – Reports to the Court
- Appendix E – Active Treatment Approaches for Acquittees
- Appendix F – Conditional Release Plan
- Appendix G – Forensic Coordinator Responsibilities
Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity: Reference Manual for Community Services Boards & Behavioral Health Authorities:
In 2016, the Office of Forensic Services began to offer training to CSB and BHA staff, to prepare them for their role in the Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity process in Virginia. The following reference manual was designed to accompany that training and to provide guidance to CSB and BHA staff as they work with individuals found Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity, both in the hospital and in the community.
NGRI Reference Manual for Community Services Boards & Behavioral Health Authorities (2016):
- CSB NGRI Reference Manual 2016 – Intro & Table of Contents
- Section 1 – The Insanity Defense & Insanity Finding
- Section 2 – Temporary Custody Period & Outcomes
- Section 3 – Commitment & Graduated Release Process
- Section 4 – Planning for Conditional Release
- Section 5 – Conditional Release
- Section 6 – Non-Compliance with Conditional Release
- Section 7 – Unconditional Release
- Section 8 – Case Studies (only available during training sessions)
- Section 9 – Appendices
Relevant Code Sections:
Click the following link to access Chapter 11 of the Code of Virginia, which specifically addresses the issue of insanity at the time of the offense. Below is a list of the relevant sections of that chapter and a brief description:
- Virginia Code Sections 19.2-167 through 19.2-182 describe proceedings on the question of insanity at the time of the offense.
- Virginia Code Sections 19.2-182.2 through 19.2-182.16 describe the legal process for Virginia’s disposition of individuals found not guilty by reason of insanity.
- Virginia Code Section 19.2-174.1 describes the information required prior to admission to a mental health facility.
Community Services Board NGRI Coordinators:
The Executive Director of each Community Services Board has designated a member of his/her staff to serve as NGRI Coordinator. The NGRI Coordinator is responsible for overseeing the compliance of the CSB and the acquittee with court orders for conditional release, coordinating the provision of reports to the court in a timely fashion, and is the point person for coordinating all NGRI cases within their catchment area.
Click HERE for a list of NGRI Coordinators by CSB and their contact information.