Forensics Services

Introduction 

Forensic programs are designed to reduce criminal recidivism, provide clinical and case management, and promote community stabilization. Norfolk CSB partners with the Norfolk jail, probation and parole, and the courts to provide an array of services to reduce time and rates of incarceration and further institutionalization. The following programs are included in the Forensic Services umbrella:

  • Jail Diversion
  • Mental Health Court
  • Norfolk Drug Court
  • Restoration

Jail Diversion

The Jail Diversion Program is a post-booking program for nonviolent offenders with repeated misdemeanor charges and who are experiencing mental illness.  

The Norfolk CSB post-booking, mental health and co-occurring Jail Diversion service is a collaborative process between Norfolk Community Services Board and the Norfolk City Jail, as well as other criminal justice partners.  This post-booking service is designed to link eligible jail detainees (consumers) to mental health, co-occurring programs and services operated by the Norfolk Community Services Board. 

Specific services provided under the Jail Diversion Program include: 

  • Serves as a liaison to the Norfolk City Jail and conducts face-to-face assessment of individuals in the jail to determine the presence of mental illness or a co-occurring disorder
  • Works with appropriate jail staff and pre-trail case manager to provide discharge/jail release for all eligible clients
  • Linking to services and supports that are specified in the Individual Service Plan (ISP) 
  • Coordinating services and planning with other agencies and providers
  • Making collateral contacts with significant others to promote implementation of the services plan and community adjustment
  • Monitoring progress and service delivery through contacts with service providers, site visits, and home visits
  • Assisting with problem solving to educate and guide the consumer and to develop a supportive relationship, providing counseling and crisis intervention

Mental Health Court

CollaborationThe Mental Health Court (MHC) Program provides discharge planning and case management for adults with serious mental health and co-occurring substance abuse disorder, and who participate in the Mental Health Court Program.

Norfolk MHC is a collaborative effort between the Norfolk Community Services Board; Norfolk Circuit Court; Norfolk Commonwealth’s Attorney Office; Norfolk Public Defender’s Office; Norfolk Sheriff’s Department; and Norfolk Probation and Parole Offices, which exists to address the unique needs of individuals with a mental health disorder and/or co-occurring disorders, and who are also involved with the criminal justice system. The individual must be charged with a felony or misdemeanor appeal.

Provided under the Mental Health Court Program umbrella are the following services:

  • Discharge planning and case management for adults with a serious mental health disorder and/or co-occurring substance abuse disorder who are participants in the Mental Health Program
  • Planning and assessment services
  • Linking to services and supports that are specified in the Individual Service Plan (ISP)
  • Coordinating services and planning with other agencies and providers
  • Making collateral contacts with significant others to promote implementation of the service plan
  • Monitoring progress and service delivery through contacts with service providers, site visits and home visits
  • Assisting with problem solving to educate and guide the individual and to develop a supportive relationship which supports the individual service plan
  • Performs crisis intervention to resolve problems
  • Bi-monthly educational groups

Norfolk Drug Court

Young ManThe Norfolk Drug Court Program provides intensive outpatient services, which are provided in a forensic setting, with intense supervision by Probation and the Court. The program is administered by the Norfolk CSB and works cooperatively with the Norfolk Circuit Court, Norfolk Commonwealth Attorney, Norfolk Sheriff’s Office, Norfolk Community Services Board, and Norfolk Probation & Parole. Each agency participates directly in the delivery of services to Drug Court individuals. 

The Norfolk Drug Court serves non-violent, adult felony offenders in Norfolk who meet the diagnostic criteria for Psychoactive Substance Use Disorders, defined by the current Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSMIV). The Drug Court can also assist persons with co-occurring substance abuse and mental health disorders and can serve veterans with these concerns. The program operates to provide intensive supervision, case management, and chemical dependency treatment to offenders in an effort to reduce recidivism, provide rehabilitation and recovery, and reduce jail overcrowding, as well as to establish a cost effective alternative to incarceration for criminal substance abusers. 

Drug Court is designed as a five-phase system, and is a minimum of 18 months in length. The system allows the participant the opportunity to receive the level of supervision and treatment intervention deemed necessary. Intensive supervision and outpatient substance abuse treatment begins the process. The participant has the opportunity to achieve goals and earn his or her way to the next level of the program. Each level becomes progressively less restrictive and structured. In FY 2013, case management and linkage services are being added to the program design. Included in the program umbrella are the following services:

  • Individual bio-psychosocial assessments
  • Integrated diagnostic, psychiatric, psychosocial, and psycho-educational treatment modalities
  • Cross-trained multi-disciplinary staff
  • Group and individual therapy and supportive counseling sessions
  • Medication and basic health monitoring
  • Individualized treatment planning including case management, problem formulations, treatment goals, and measurable treatment objectives
  • Random screening for illicit drugs and alcohol

Restoration

Man in Restoration ProgramThe Court will order a competency evaluation to be performed when:

  • An adult defendant with a mental health disorder or intellectual disability is charged with a crime; and
  • A defense attorney or a Commonwealth’s Attorney raises the issue; and
  • The court finds probable cause that the defendant lacks substantial capacity to understand the proceedings against them or to assist the attorney in their own defense.
  • The order is forwarded to the Restoration case manager for an assessment of the individual to determine if that individual can be restored in the community.

Included in the Restoration Program are the following services:

  • Completes face-to face assessment to determine appropriateness for outpatient restoration services
  • Assures that the individual receives medications and psychiatric evaluations
  • Provides educational material to prepare individual for court hearing
  • Reports to the Department of Behavioral Health and Development Services regarding individual’s progress
  • Links to services and planning with other agencies
  • Monitors progress and service delivery through contacts with service providers