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Address

Office Location:

Criminal Justice Services
715 E. 4th St.
Charlotte, NC 28202
Hours: Mon-Fri  8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Contact

Criminal Justice Services

Key Initiatives

Forensic Evaluations​

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

Evaluations
The FEU seeks to provide the Mecklenburg County Courts with scientifically, ethically, and legally sound forensic psychological 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:

 
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 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 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 limited time post-release to ensure they get connected to services and are stabilized in the community.
 
For additional information concerning mental health jail diversion, please contact MHDiversion@MeckNC.gov
 
Research and Training Opportunities
The Forensic Evaluations Unit is involved in a number of grant programs and offers pre-doctoral clinical externship/practicum training opportunities, and graduate and undergraduate non-clinical internship placements. Please note: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, training opportunities through the Forensic Evaluations Unit have been suspended for calendar year 2021.
 
Currently, staff from the Forensic Evaluations Unit have leadership roles in a number of federal, state and local grant programs/initiatives.  This includes 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.

Pre-doctoral Clinical Practicum positions offer 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 master’s program. Additionally, applicants must have had completed at least one course in psychological testing. Non-clinical training positions are available in other criminal justice service areas and research projects within the Forensic Evaluations Unit and criminal justice system. 
 
Interested candidates can contact Dr. Sean Knuth at Sean.Knuth@MeckNC.gov for more information about training opportunities with FEU.

Address

Office Location:

Criminal Justice Services
715 E. 4th St.
Charlotte, NC 28202
Hours: Mon-Fri  8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Contact

Criminal Justice Services

Key Initiatives

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