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Providing quality care in the forensic system

The goal of Forensic Services is to facilitate the admission, treatment and discharge of people who are ordered to undergo psychiatric hospitalization by the criminal court system. The Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (OhioMHAS) operates six state-run Regional Psychiatric Hospitals that support this system of services.

Patients are referred to our hospitals by the county criminal courts where legal charges are involved. A patient's length of stay can vary between a few weeks to several months or years. It is the court that has final approval of any discharge or conditional release.

Patient progress toward recovery is evaluated regularly by the hospital clinicians to coordinate the patient’s treatment and movement requirements with the committing courts. Staff members work with families, patients and community agencies to ensure the safety of the patient and the community throughout all stages of treatment.

View Frequently Asked Questions about forensic status.


Registration open now for the 2017 Forensic Conference on Nov. 1


2017 Forensic ConferenceThe Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services is pleased to sponsor the 2017 Annual Forensic Conference: Tailoring Strategies for Diverse Forensic Populations. This one-day conference is designed for a broad range of professionals who work with people who have a mental illness and are involved in the justice system.

Joel Dvoskin, Ph.D., ABPP, will deliver the keynote address titled “A Better Way to Help People with Severe Mental Illness who Commit Minor Crimes.” Dr. Dvoskin is an internationally known expert in forensic psychology. He provides training throughout the U.S., Canada, and the United Kingdom on assessing the risk of violence to self and others and many other topics.

The conference will also feature the annual Legal Update and workshops on Conditional Release Considerations, a Forensic Consumer’s Experience with CIT, the Stepping Up Initiative in Ohio, Risk Assessment for Insanity Acquitees, Forensic ACT in Lucas County, Sovereign Citizens and Finding Expert Interpreters for people in the courts and forensic evaluation settings.

Application for all relevant continuing education credits will be made, including CME, MCE, CEU and CLE.

The fee for the conference is $145. A student rate of $50 is available for post-doctoral psychology or psychiatry residents and graduate students in psychology, law, social work, counseling and nursing. Proof of current student status will need to be submitted. 

Registration must be completed online. The deadline is Oct. 25 at 6 p.m.

View the conference flier   |   View the conference agenda

Nominations for the Howard H. Sokolov Forensic Mental Health Leadership Award

2017 Forensic Conference Presentations and Handouts

Contact Us

Legal Assurance Administrators

Legal assurance administrators located at each OhioMHAS Regional Psychiatric Hospital work as liaisons with the criminal justice system, community forensic monitors, the community mental health system, OhioMHAS Hospital Services and other agencies involved with forensic patients.

Community Forensic Monitoring

Forensic monitors follow treatment compliance and progress of people found not guilty by reason of insanity (NGRI) and defendants found to be incompetent to stand trial-unrestorable-criminal court jurisdiction (IST-U-CJ) who are on conditional release commitment. Monitors serve as a liaison between the individual, the court, the community and the OhioMHAS Regional Psychiatric Hospitals.

Forensic monitors ensure people with mental illness have a successful transition from the hospital to the community; that effective risk management procedures are implemented by community providers and that prompt re-hospitalization, re-institutionalization or detention occurs when public safety necessitates this level of care

Forensic Evaluation Services

Ten community forensic psychiatry centers provide comprehensive forensic evaluation services for Ohio's criminal court system. Each provides services to designated counties in its region. Forensic center staff also provide consultation and training services for local criminal justice systems, county boards and community mental health agencies, as well as expert testimony for their local courts.

Forensic evaluators conduct high quality court-ordered evaluations in the most efficient manner possible to protect the needs of people with mental illness or mental retardation who become involved in the criminal justice system