The Bureau of Community Forensic Services manages and supports programs for individuals with criminal justice histories and mental health and substance use concerns. This work is performed in partnership with Wisconsin's judicial, correctional, and mental health systems and it results in stronger and healthier individuals and communities.
Conditional Release Program
The Conditional Release Program provides supervision and support to individuals found not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect (NGI) of criminal activity and released into the community either directly by a court or after treatment at one of the state's mental health institutions. This program manages risk to the community by addressing the individual's unique safety and security needs. This work is performed in partnership with staff at the Department of Corrections, Division of Community Corrections; Mendota Mental Health Institute; Winnebago Mental Health Institute; and community service providers.
Court Liaison Services Program
The Court Liaison Services Program provides education and consultation to Wisconsin's judiciary system on cases under Wis. Stat. ch. 971. It also tracks these cases and collects data on these proceedings in an effort to ensure statutory timeframes are followed and client treatment needs are met. The Department of Health Services contracts with Wisconsin Community Services, Inc. to manage this program.
Opening Avenues to Reentry Success (OARS)
The Opening Avenues to Reentry Success (OARS) Program is a joint venture between the Department of Corrections and Department of Health Services. It enhances public safety by supporting the transition and self-sufficiency of individuals with mental health needs as they release from prison and reintegrate into the community. This is a voluntary program. Participants include the most seriously and persistently mentally ill assessed at a moderate or high risk for reoffending. OARS uses a team approach and evidence-based practices to reduce recidivism and revocation rates for this population by providing specialized supervision built around the individual's unique recovery needs.
Outpatient Competency Examination Program (OCEP)
The Outpatient Competency Examination Program evaluates the mental health of individuals accused of crimes whose ability to participate in legal proceedings is questioned by the courts. This program skillfully completes these evaluations in a manner that allows the judicial system to handle these cases timely. This is a statewide program, with most of these evaluations conducted in local jails.
Outpatient Competency Restoration Program (OCRP)
The Outpatient Competency Restoration Program provides treatment in the community to criminal defendants found not competent to stand trial in an attempt to return them to competency so that legal proceedings can resume. This program provides less disruption to the lives of individuals who need competency restoration services and allows the Department of Health Services to better manage resources and beds at its two mental health institutes. However, clinically, individuals appropriate for community restoration may have acute or severe cognitive disabilities, mental health issues, and/or substance use problems, which often require at least initially inpatient stabilization before services in the community can be offered.