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Forensic Services - Mental Health and Criminal Justice

The interface between the mental health and criminal justice systems is significant. The increased involvement of people with mental illness in the criminal justice system has become a serious problem. Law enforcement, courts, jails and prisons have joined with consumers and family members in addressing this troublesome situation. The Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (OhioMHAS) collaborates with these constituencies to identify issues and seek solutions.

The 2015 Forensic Conference - Nov. 18, 2015

Areas of Focus

OhioMHAS collaborates with its constituencies to develop policies, propose programs, assist with legislation and provide consultation, education and training in the following areas:

Community Linkage – Links severely mentally ill offenders to community mental health services upon release from state prisons. In addition to serving the adult population, OhioMHAS is working with the Ohio Department of Youth Services to provide youth offenders with behavioral health needs community supports to promote a successful return into their communities. To help these youth achieve successful reentry into the community, the departments have developed a Community Linkage Program for juveniles leaving DYS facilities who have mental health issues. Read the flyer to learn more.

Community Forensic Monitoring – Ensures 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 – Conducts 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

Hospital and Community Services – Works collaboratively to assure quality services are provided to people with a forensic status in regional psychiatric hospitals and those involved in the criminal justice system in the community. Provides technical assistance and clarification on forensic issues to the regional psychiatric hospitals, county boards, criminal justice system and community providers. Maintains hospital and community policies and guidelines focused on people in a forensic status, communicates issues through a quarterly Forensic Newsletter, and holds an annual forensic conference


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Other resources

Ohio Criminal Justice Coordinating Center of Excellence
The Criminal Justice CCOE promotes the sequential intercept model, which includes interventions to help individuals with mental illness obtain appropriate treatment and avoid entering or sinking deeper into the criminal justice system. The CCOE also provides crisis intervention team training to law enforcement and emergency service providers.

Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction Reentry Website
This site contains resources and information provided to offenders as they prepare for release from the institution.

GAINS Center
The GAINS Center's primary focus is on expanding access within the justice system of  community-based services for adults diagnosed with co-occuring mental illness and substance use disorders.

Notification Form for Records Check (Under ORC 5122.311) (Rev 4/01/04)