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Office Location:

Criminal Justice Services
600 E. Fourth St.
Charlotte, NC 28202
Hours: Mon-Fri 8 a.m - 5 p.m.

Contact

Criminal Justice Services

Forensic Evaluations​

The Forensic Evaluations Unit (FEU) works will all levels of the judicial system to conduct court-ordered psychological evaluations and diversionary screenings/services to criminal justice involved individuals. 

Evaluations
With regard to court-ordered forensic psychological evaluations, the FEU seeks to provide the Mecklenburg County Courts with scientifically, ethically, and legally sound evaluations, consultation, and other services related to psychology in order to assist the Courts in their task of properly administering justice. The Unit is involved with cases in Juvenile Court, District and Superior Criminal Courts and Clerk of Court-Special Proceeding Division, and conducts a variety of evaluations that include the following:

    • Parental Competency Evaluation (Rule 17)
    • Parenting Capacity Evaluation
    • Juvenile Capacity to Proceed
    • Juvenile Transfer to Superior Court Evaluation
    • Mental Status at the Time of Offense
    • Competency to Waive Miranda Rights
    • Risk Assessment for Future Violence
    • Capacity to Proceed Screening Evaluation
    • Multidisciplinary Evaluation

Diversion
Criminal Justice diversion is a mental health-based program specifically designed to identify and divert individuals with severe mental illness and/or intellectual/developmental issues from the criminal justice system into appropriate treatment in the mental health system.  Currently, the Criminal Justice Diversion Team consists of the Court Liaison and the Jail Liaison. Both of these positions are staffed by licensed mental health clinicians that perform a variety of functions, including: 

    • Complete court-ordered Mental Health Evaluations (MHE) in an expeditious manner to with treatment recommendations and community resources.
    • Conduct Comprehensive Clinical Assessments (CCA) for entry into community services and placements upon immediate release from jail.
    • Screen inmates for various jail diversion programs (such as treatment courts, pre-trial, re-entry).
    • Coordinate release plans with the local Managed Care Organization (MCO) to ensure individuals are linked with appropriate services in the community.
    • Act as a mental health advocate for individuals who are unable to speak or act on their own behalf. 
    • Case manage individuals which may include assisting with obtaining/restarting disability benefits, arranging transportation, and coordinating housing evaluators access to persons while in custody. 
    • Track individuals for a short period of time after release to ensure they get connected to services and are stabilized in the community.

Research and Training Opportunities
The Forensic Evaluations Unit is involved in a number of grant programs and has established a full-time paid Post-Doctoral Forensic Psychology Fellowship program. The Forensic Evaluations Unit also offers pre-doctoral clinical externship/practicum training opportunities, and graduate and undergraduate non-clinical internship placements.

Currently staff from the Forensic Evaluations Unit have leadership roles in a number of federal, state and local grant programs/initiatives.  This includes co-chairing the Mecklenburg County Stepping-Up Committee, serving as the Project Director for a 3-year Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) Comprehensive Opioid Abuse Program grant, being the Local Lead for the SSI/SSDI, Outreach, Access, and Recovery-Criminal Justice (SOAR-CJ) T/A grant through SAMSAH and leading County-wide initiatives to address the needs of homeless and severely mentally individuals involved with the criminal justice system.

The Post-Doctoral Fellowship is a program designed to meet the criteria for licensure in the state of North Carolina. Potential applicants must completed their doctoral degree program prior to beginning their postdoctoral training and are required to pursue licensure in North Carolina, which includes taking and passing the Examination for the Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP) exam during their post-doctoral training. Applicants seeking licensure in other states can likely be accommodated. Additionally, a demonstrated interest in forensic psychological assessment and strong testing, interviewing, and report writing skills are required. Candidates must have experience working with juveniles and at least one year of practicum experience in psychological testing. Preferred candidates are those with experience in forensic psychology. Please note that the FEU is participating in the Uniform Acceptance Date (UAD) process for forensic fellowships.  This year, the UAD for forensic fellowships is February 26, 2018.  Although our fellowship may make an offer prior to the UAD, we will not require applicants to accept an offer prior to February 26, 2018. Applicants are nonetheless encouraged to notify a fellowship of their decision as soon as possible, to allow for more efficient management of opportunities."

The Pre-Doctoral Clinical Practicum position offers direct experience conducting interviews and psychological testing related to court-ordered psychological evaluations. Applicants must be currently enrolled and in good standing in an APA-accredited Clinical, School, or Counseling Psychology doctoral or masters program. Additionally, applicants must have had completed at least one course in psychological testing.

Interested candidates can contact Dr. Sean Knuth at Sean.Knuth@MecklenburgCountyNC.gov for more information about training opportunities with FEU.

Address

Office Location:

Criminal Justice Services
600 E. Fourth St.
Charlotte, NC 28202
Hours: Mon-Fri 8 a.m - 5 p.m.

Contact

Criminal Justice Services