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Office of Mental Health

Division of Forensic Services
Bureau of Institutional and Transitional Services
(BITS)

The Bureau of Institutional and Transitional Services (BITS) is responsible for:

  • designating forensic placements (CPL 730, CPL 330.20, CL 508, Part 57) in OMH facilities after court orders for hospitalization;
  • providing support for the treatment and movement of forensic patients served by OMH facilities, exclusive of sex offenders covered under MHL Article 10;
  • reviewing, on behalf of the Commissioner, applications for Jackson Relief, patient furloughs, transfer, conditional release or discharge and making related recommendations;
  • monitoring CPL 330.20s in the community under outpatient orders of conditions; and
  • coordinating and conducting NICS reviews and evaluations.

Please email/fax all CPL 330.20 and 730 court orders and related documents to either ForensicsBITS@omh.ny.gov or (518) 956-9451.

The Bureau of Institutional and Transitional Services can be contacted via phone at 518-549-5001.

Mental Health and Criminal Justice Collaboration Unit

Working within the Bureau of Institutional and Transitional Services, this unit provides support and technical assistance including:

  • suicide prevention and adequate mental health treatment in local correctional facilities,
  • appropriate mental health training for criminal justice staff whose jobs bring them in contact with persons who are mentally ill,
  • timely access to mental health services for persons on parole and probation,
  • alternatives to incarceration,
  • community mental health provider skill enhancement and training, and
  • curriculum development and training facilitation in collaboration with state and local agencies.

The Unit also oversees the following programs related to mental health and the criminal justice systems:

Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) training initiative

CIT programs strive to transform the crisis response system - minimizing the times that law enforcement are the first responders to citizens in emotional distress. They also aim to ensure that law enforcement agents have the knowledge, skills and support to de-escalate situations and divert individuals from the criminal and juvenile justice systems, when appropriate.

CIT programs require ongoing partnership with:

  • law enforcement
  • the mental health system,
  • criminal justice representatives,
  • emergency services, and
  • consumer and family advocacy groups.

Mobile Access Program (MAP) pilot program

MAP is a collaboration between the criminal justice system and mental health system. With an iPad App police officers can remotely connect an individual to a Mental Health Professional without taking that individual to a different location such as the hospital or jail.

The goal of MAP is to connect individuals to the resources and services they need.