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Forensic Services

Virginia's forensic programs serve individuals who are involved in the Commonwealth's legal system. Services include mental health evaluations and screenings, treatment of individuals with mental illness in jail, case management and restoration of competency to stand trial.  In addition, DBHDS develops and implements programs and services for individuals at risk for involvement in the criminal justice system to attempt to create diversion alternatives (when appropriate) and/or to improve access to behavioral health services for those who enter the criminal justice system. 


For a list of contacts please click here


  • A manual on restoration services community services boards are court-ordered to provide pursuant to Virginia Code section § 19.2-169.2, Disposition when defendant found incompetent to stand trial. 


  • Training Documents for Restoration Workers:


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

 Please contact Sarah Shrum for more information or to schedule a training.

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.