Dedicated to quality treatment and with a regard for public safety, it is the responsibility of the Department of Mental Health to provide forensic services in Missouri.
Chapter 552 of the Revised Statutes of Missouri (RSMo) defines the forensic population within the state. There are four primary categories of forensic clients:
- Individuals for whom a pretrial evaluation has been ordered by the court to determine if he or she is competent to stand trial and/or is responsible for alleged criminal actions at the time of a crime;
- individuals found incompetent to stand trial because of inability to assist legal counsel in their defense or to understand the proceedings against them;
- individuals found not guilty of a crime by reason of mental disease or defect (NGRI) and committed indefinitely to the department; and
- individuals found NGRI who have been granted a court-ordered conditional release to return to the community.
Five NMPRC forensic examiners complete evaluations for the courts, including pre-trial competency, pre-trial NGRI, SVP, and conditional release assessments.
By necessity, there is a close working relationship between the department and criminal justice system.