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Office of Mental Health

Populations Served in OMH Forensic Facilities

Mental Hygiene Law - Admissions Process

Persons served in OMH forensic facilities fall into six basic legal admission categories.

1. Criminal Procedure Law § 330.20: Not Responsible for Criminal Conduct by Reason of Mental Disease or Defect

Individuals progress through a range of services including:

  • secure forensic facility care
  • non-secure adult psychiatric center care
  • community-based care

Each move to a less restrictive setting including release to the community, requires a court order. Once released, CPL 330.20 individuals are subject to renewable five-year order of conditions.

2. Criminal Procedure Law 730: Incompetent to Stand Trial

CPL 730 differentiates between felony and misdemeanor charges:

  • CPL 730 Final Orders of Observation pertain to misdemeanor charges. Individuals deemed incapacitated are admitted to a state civil psychiatric center under the provisions of the Mental Hygiene Law (MHL) and their charges are dismissed. An evaluation must take place within 72 hours of admissions. Individuals are then either committed under MHL, converted to voluntary status, or released.
  • CPL 730.40 Temporary Orders of Observation pertain to felony charges. Issued by local criminal courts, these orders are valid for 90 days. If the patient remains incompetent, OMH must convert to MHL status. If the District Attorney does not obtain an indictment against the patient within 6 months of the Order expiration date, the charges are dismissed.
  • CPL 730.50 Orders of Commitment pertain to indicted felony defendants and are valid for one year. OMH may continue to retain the patient under CPL 730 for up to 2/3 of the maximum sentence the patient would have received if convicted.

Criminal Procedure Law was modified in 2012 to include the option of outpatient restoration for CPL 730.40 Temporary Orders and CPL 730.50 Commitment Orders.

For more information, refer to the DFS guidance document on outpatient competency restoration.

3. Correction Law 508: Involuntary Admission of Pre-Sentenced Inmates

CL 508 patients can be admitted to adult psychiatric centers and municipal and general hospitals under sheriff's guard.

  • All admissions require an applicant and physician(s) certification.

4. Correction Law 402: Involuntary Admission of Sentenced Inmates

All admissions are received at Central New York Psychiatric Center and require:

  • an applicant
  • a certifying physician
  • a court order

5. 14 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR) Part 57: Transfer of Involuntary Patients to a Secure Facility

Applies to transfer of involuntary patients at adult civil psychiatric centers to a forensic secure psychiatric center.

To be eligible for Part 57 Transfer, a patient must be:

  • Involuntary
  • Imminent risk to cause physical harm to others
  • Not responsive to treatment modalities designed to alleviated violent behavior

6. Mental Hygiene Law Article 10: Persons subject to Civil Management

Persons referred for assessment for civil management include persons with qualifying sex offenses and:

  • in the custody of DOCCS (Corrections) who are approaching release
  • persons under supervision of DOCCS (Community Supervision) who are approaching the end of their terms of supervision
  • persons found not responsible for criminal conduct due to mental disease or defect and who are due to be released
  • persons found incompetent to stand trial and who are due to be released

Persons recommended for civil management must have a mental abnormality, as defined by MHL Article 10.

Additional information can be found in the Annual Report on the Implementation of Mental Hygiene Law Article 10 (SOMTA Reports).