About Adult Forensic Mental Health (AFMH)

System Description:
Florida's forensic system is a network of state facilities and community services for individuals who have a mental illness and are involved with the criminal justice system. Our goal is to provide assessment, evaluation, and treatment to individuals adjudicated incompetent to proceed at any stage of a criminal proceeding or not guilty by reason of insanity. In addition to the general psychiatric treatment approaches and milieu, specialized services include:

  • Psychosocial rehabilitation
  • Education
  • Treatment modules such as competency, anger management, mental health awareness, medication and relapse prevention
  • Sexually transmitted disease education and prevention
  • Substance abuse awareness and prevention
  • Vocational training
  • Occupational therapies
  • Full range of medical and dental services

Philosphy:
We recognize individuals involved with the criminal justice system often present unique security issues, often at a higher level than most people who have a mental illness. This may be a function of the nature of the disorder, past history of contact with law enforcement and the nature of the present offense. We strive to provide evaluation and treatment to all individuals with dignity and fairness, in the least restrictive manner possible, ensuring the safety of the people we serve, and the community.

Purpose:
Services include comprehensive assessment, evaluation, and treatment of psychiatric disorders for individuals involved with the criminal court system. Evaluations for competency to proceed, mental health treatment following a finding of not guilty by reason of insanity, and services to individuals on conditional release in the community are provided. Additionally, in-jail services are provided by local county jails, often with assistance from community mental health providers.

The People We Serve:
Forensic services are provided to adults over the age of 18 and juveniles adjudicated as adults. Diagnostic categories include all major DSMIV disorder classifications (primarily schizophrenia and mood disorders). Secondary diagnoses, such as substance abuse and personality disorders, are also present for a significant number of people.

State Mental Health Facility Services:
Individuals determined by the court to require treatment in a state mental health facility are typically served by one of four maximum security facilities. These facilities have a combined capacity to serve 1,108 people. Individuals who do not require a secure setting may be directly admitted or transferred into one of three civil mental health treatment facilities. We admit over 1,450 individuals into our state treatment facilities on a yearly basis.

Community Services:
Community services are provided as a first level of treatment and assessment aimed at stabilization and reducing the need for admission into a state facility. Community services are also available to individuals released from state mental health treatment facilities including monitoring of individuals on conditional release and community competency restoration services. Services are provided in local county jails to individuals awaiting state facility admission, to individuals returning from state facilities, and to individuals who are able to proceed with disposition of their criminal charges without requiring facility admission.

Competency Restoration Material: