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The Rochester Regional Forensic Unit at the Rochester Psychiatric Center

Rochester Regional Forensic UnitThe Rochester Regional Forensic Unit is a 55-bed, maximum-security forensic hospital unit. In 2009, the RRFU moved to new, state-of-the-art facility inside the Rochester Psychiatric Center. During the RRFU rotation, Forensic Fellows provide assessment and treatment of three categories of patients:

  1. CPL 330.20 patients are individuals who have been found Not Responsible by Reason of Mental Disease for a crime. After a verdict of Not Responsible, individuals may be sent to the RRFU for determination of whether or not they are Dangerously Mentally Ill. If found Dangerously Mentally Ill, they are committed to the RRFU for treatment. They remain hospitalized involuntarily at the Regional Forensic Unit until the Court determines, with the assistance of expert psychiatric report and/or testimony, that they are no longer dangerously mentally ill.
  2. CPL 730 patients are individuals who have been arrested and charged with a crime and found not competent to stand trial. They may be hospitalized for treatment and restoration of competence to stand trial. The court, with the assistance of expert psychiatric report and/or testimony, determines when an individual's competence has been restored. At times, the initial determination of competence to stand trail cannot be accomplished on an outpatient basis; under those circumstances, the initial evaluation may be completed at the RRFU.
  3. DCS/508 patients are incarcerated individuals charged with crimes who are determined to require psychiatric hospitalization to further evaluate and treat their mental illness. These individuals are acutely ill and usually require short-term hospitalization (2-4 weeks) for assessment and treatment.

The fellows conduct admission assessments, develop treatment plans, and provide ongoing treatment and forensic psychiatric assessments. The forensic psychiatric assessments include competence to stand trial, the presence of a dangerous mental illness, involuntary commitment to the RFU and treatment over objection. The fellow prepares forensic psychiatric reports and provides forensic psychiatric expert witness testimony. Supervision is provided primarily by Dr. R. P. Singh.

Monroe County Socio-Legal Center

The Monroe County Socio-Legal Center was established in 1964 and is operated jointly by the University of Rochester Medical Center and Monroe County. The Center provides consultation and education involving forensic psychiatric issues to the city, town, and county courts; parole and probation departments; and pre-trial release program. Training for fellows in psychiatry and the law has been associated with the clinic since the founding of the Psychiatry and Law Program at the University of Rochester in 1986. Located near the courts, Monroe County Jail, the Office of the District Attorney, the Office of the Public Defender, and the Probation Department, the Socio-Legal Center provides unique training in forensic evaluation and consultation.

Throughout the year, the fellows spend two afternoons weekly at the Socio-Legal Center examining incarcerated and non-incarcerated individuals referred for evaluation of their competence to stand trial and other issues of concern to the court (e.g., diagnosis, need for treatment, dangerousness). Supervision is provided by the Center’s broad array of forensic psychiatry faculty.

Evelyn Brandon Health Center

Brandon Helath CenterThe Sexual Behavior Treatment Program at Evelyn Brandon Health Center in the Unity Health System is an outpatient Sex Offender Treatment Program where the fellows evaluate and treat sex offenders referred by the Courts and Probation and Parole. Additionally, other individuals with problematic sexual behaviors are often referred. The fellows participate in psychiatric evaluations, psychosexual evaluations, risk assessments, group therapy, and psychological and psychopharmacological treatment of these individuals. The fellows also participate in the evaluation and treatment of individuals deemed in need of Strict and Intensive Supervision and Treatment (SIST) under New York State’s Sexually Violent Predator law, MHL Article 10.

Throughout the year, fellows spend approximately 40 afternoons at the Sexual Behavior Treatment Program. Supervision is provided primarily by Dr. Joshua Jones.

CPL 330.20 Clinic at Evelyn Brandon Health Center in the Unity Health System is an outpatient clinic where fellows evaluate and treat individuals who have been found not responsible by reason of mental illness for a crime and subsequently determined by the courts to be not dangerously mentally ill. These individuals are mandated to receive outpatient forensic psychiatric treatment. The fellows direct pharmacological treatment, provide ongoing forensic opinion to the courts, and gains insight to the unique challenges in treatment of outpatients previously found not responsible.

Throughout the year, fellows spend approximately 15 afternoons at the CPL 330.20 clinic. Supervision is provided primarily by Dr. Richard Ciccone.