Forensic Division

Handcuffed hands on wooden table with judge's gavel in foreground

The State Mental Health Forensic Directors hereby organize in support of the interests and purposes of the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors in the development and operation of forensic programs and facilities.

Administration of mental health forensic systems requires understanding and integration of at least four distinguishable fields:

  1. Behavioral Science;
  2. Corrections;
  3. Legislation and Law, and
  4. Administration

Forensic service systems are the result of planning, development, and operation in diverse endeavors including:

  1. Mental Health evaluation and treatment services to courts and custody facilities;
  2. Operation of secure hospitals;
  3. Provision of technical consultation to staff in developing methods of effective recognition and management of areas such as civil commitment, patient's rights and guardianship;
  4. Development of training of mental health, legal, correctional and administrative professionals; and
  5. Consultation in the development of sound legislation and administrative rules.

It is the purpose, therefore, of the State Mental Health Forensic Directors, Division of National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors, to gather those individuals directly responsible for the administration of state forensic systems in order to:

  1. Provide a mechanism for collection, study, discussion, resolution and dissemination of problems, ideas, models, information, and approaches to the planning, development, and operation of state forensic systems, programs and facilities;
  2. Promote and participate in training and in development of appropriate standards; and
  3. Improve the quality, effectiveness, and pursuit of excellence in forensic administration.

Executive Committee (as of January 1, 2015)

Title Term Name State
Chairperson 1/1/15 – 12/31/16 Betsy Neighbors NV
Vice Chairperson 1/1/15 – 12/31/16 Mike Norko CT
Secretary 1/1/15 – 12/31/15 Vacant  
Member-at-Large 1/1/14 – 12/31/15 Sue Austin LA
Past-Chairperson 1/1/15 – 12/31/16 Jeff Feix TN
Regional Coordinators
West 1/1/14 – 12/31/15 Juliet Follansbee OR
Midwest 1/1/12 – 12/31/15 Rick Gowdy MO
Northeast 1/1/15 – 12/31/16 Li-Wen Grace Lee NY
South 1/1/15 – 12/31/16 Peter Barboriak NC