West Virginia

Department of
Health & Human Resources

Statewide Forensic Services

West Virginia Code §27-6A-(1-11) provides specific guidelines for supervision and treatment of persons with mental disorders/defects involved in the criminal justice system.  Forensic Services provides oversight of these processes and collaborates with court personnel, law enforcement, jails and prisons, inpatient staff, community providers, and family to provide management of defendants in the least restrictive environment considering public safety. Forensic Services also provides technical assistance, clarification of legislative regulations, and forensic polices and guidelines to regional psychiatric hospitals, the criminal justice system, community providers and others who interact with those offenders who have been adjudicated as incompetent to stand trial-in need of restoration (IST-R), incompetent to stand trial-unable to be restored (IST-NR), or not guilty by reason of mental illness (NGRMI).

Areas of Focus
  • Forensic Evaluation Services - Court-ordered forensic evaluations are conducted for West Virginia defendants to provide judgment of competency and criminal responsibility.  Additionally, pre-sentencing recommendations for adults found guilty of a sexual offense are provided if ordered by the Court.  
  • Inpatient and Transitional Services - An inpatient Forensic Coordinator works collaboratively with hospital staff to assure provision of quality services for the unique needs of the forensic patient.  These services include competency restoration and treatment and preparation for transition to a group home, supported or independent living setting. Dangerousness (risk) assessment and comprehensive community treatment planning identify community based interventions for successful forensic patient community integration while maintaining public safety. 
  • Community Forensic Monitoring - Ensures that adjudicated defendants have a successful transition from inpatient to community placement.  This includes risk management procedures implemented by community providers with the guidance and support of the Forensic Community Coordinator and re-hospitalization if needed when public safety necessitates increased stabilization and/or security.
  • Research and Training - Forensic Services collaborates with West Virginia University Department of Forensic Psychiatry to research and promote evidence based practices. Forensic Services also offers orientation for all new inpatient staff, training, and educational programs upon request.
 
Contact
John D. Justice, M.D.
Statewide Forensic Medical Director
(304) 269-1210 ext.211
John.D.Justice@wv.gov

Resources