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Office of Mental Health

New York State Office of Mental Health
Division of Forensic Services

Donna L. Hall, Ph.D., Associate Commissioner, Division of Forensic Services

The Division of Forensic Services (DFS) is the administrative unit within the New York State Office of Mental Health that is responsible for coordinating the delivery of mental health services to individuals involved with New York State's criminal justice system. DFS has the Diversion, Reentry, and Community Education Unit as well as three bureaus: (1) the Bureau of Institutional and Transitional Services (BITS), (2) the Bureau of Sex Offender Evaluation and Community Treatment (BSOECT), and (3) the Bureau of Institutional Sex Offender Treatment.

Mental health services for justice-involved individuals in New York State have grown into a system of care that includes three Joint Commission of Accreditation of Hospitals Organization (JCAHO) accredited secure forensic psychiatric centers, one of which serves the NYS prison population, two secure regional forensic units, a network of prison-based mental health satellite units and residential programs located within prison facilities, and an array of community-based training and technical assistance services that enable local governmental units to better serve forensic mental health populations.

Justice-involved, mentally ill individuals come within the purview of DFS pursuant to various sections of the Criminal Procedure Law (CPL), Correction Laws (CL) and Mental Hygiene Law (MHL). Populations served by forensic facilities include:

  • Felony defendants found incompetent to stand trial pursuant to Criminal Procedure Law (CPL) § 730.
  • Defendants found Not Responsible for Criminal Conduct due to Mental Disease or Defect pursuant to CPL § 330.20.
  • Pre-trial detainees in local correctional facilities in need of inpatient care pursuant to Correction Laws (CL) § 508.
  • Inmates sentenced to State and local correctional facilities in need of inpatient care pursuant to CL § 402.
  • Civil patients transferred to a forensic facility pursuant to New York Codes, Rules and Regulations (NYCRR), Title 14, Section 57.2
  • Individuals committed to Sex Offender Treatment Programs (SOTPs) within a Secure Treatment Facility (STF), pursuant to New York Mental Hygiene Law (MHL) Art. 10.

The bed capacity and types of admissions in each of the forensic facilities are shown in the table below.

NYS Forensic Facility Bed Capacity Admission Types
Central New York Psychiatric Center (PC) 189 CL 402
Kirby Forensic PC 193 CPL 330 and 730; Part 57
Mid-Hudson Forensic PC 274 CPL 330 and 730; Part 57
Northeast Regional Forensic Unit (FU) 17 CL 508; CPL 730
Rochester Regional FU 84 CPL 330 and 730; CL 508
Central New York PC Secure Treatment Facility (STF) 280 New York Mental Hygiene Law (MHL) Art. 10
St. Lawrence PC STF 92 MHL Art. 10

In addition, Central New York Psychiatric Center (CNYPC) "outpatient" services in prison maintain a caseload of approximately 10,000, with 29 satellite and mental health units and nearly 1,200 mental health beds across a multitude of mental health staffed prison programs.