There are currently 10 community forensic psychiatry centers providing forensic evaluation services for Ohio's criminal court system. They also provide second opinion evaluations for Hospital Services on patients being considered for nonsecured status.
Community forensic psychiatry centers are located in various regions throughout the state, and each provides services to designated counties. Prior to the development of the current system, most court-ordered sanity and competency evaluations occurred on an inpatient basis at one location. The community forensic center system was developed to allow for the local provision of evaluations on an outpatient basis. This decreases the cost of the evaluation process and reduces delays in the court proceedings. The centers provide timely, comprehensive and professional evaluations locally, eliminating the stigma of inpatient hospitalization and increasing costs.
Community forensic centers also provide consultation and training services for local criminal justice systems, alcohol, drug addiction and mental health (ADAMH) boards, community mental health (CMH) boards and community mental health agencies. As part of the community forensic mental health system, the centers assist the boards and community mental health agencies in identifying the needs of this population for program and service planning purposes. In addition, staff members of these centers provide expert testimony for their local courts.