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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS FOR MENTAL HEALTH ADMINISTRATOR'S OFFICE

What services does the Mental Health Administrator's Office provide?

What are the address, phone number and hours of operation?

For what reasons are defendants court-ordered for evaluations?

What does "incompetent to proceed" and "not guilty by reason of insanity" mean in criminal court cases?

How long does it take for the judge to receive the results of an evaluation?

Who conducts the evaluations?

Who do I contact for further information about the Mental Health Administrator's Office?

Who do I call if I am a person with a disability who needs assistance to participate in a court proceeding, program or service?

What services does the Mental Health Administrator's Office provide?
Consultation with the judiciary regarding:
  • Effective procedures for expediting mentally ill defendants through the judicial system
  • Recommendations for treatment programs and placement facilities (including involuntary hospitalization) based upon expert witness evaluations and an understanding of each defendant's specific needs
  • The availability of community resources
Coordination of mental health assessment and treatment services:
  • Coordinates psychiatric and psychological evaluations by private and public mental health experts in response to court orders
  • Processes involuntary commitment of defendants
  • Maintains a list of qualified mental health experts
  • Arranges for transportation of forensic defendants between the jail and hospitals
  • Acts as liaison with the Department of Children and Families, which manages hospital placements
  • Coordinates residential and treatment placements of defendants in the community

Monitoring services:
  • Monitors defendants released to the community who have been
    • acquitted by reason of insanity
    • found incompetent to proceed
  • Tracks and expedites the return to Court of defendants who
    • no longer need involuntary hospitalization
    • are released from supervision and are no longer deemed incompetent

What are the address, phone number and hours of operation?
Mental Health Administrator's Office
1351 N.W. 12th Avenue, Room 7300
Miami, FL 33125
(305) 548-5595 Office hours are from 7:30 AM until 5 PM, Monday through Friday, excluding court holidays.  

For what reasons are defendants court-ordered for an evaluation?

The primary reasons for court-ordered evaluations are issues regarding:
  • Incompetency to proceed
  • Insanity at the time the alleged offense was committed
  • Need for involuntary hospitalization
  • Other unresolved mental health matters
What does "incompetent to proceed" and "not guilty by reason of insanity" mean in criminal court cases?
In criminal court, competency refers to defendants' ability to proceed in various stages of a case. By law, defendants are found incompetent to proceed if they do not:
  • understand the charges/allegations against them
  • comprehend the possible penalties
  • understand the adversary nature of the legal process
  • have the ability to disclose to an attorney pertinent facts that would aid in their defense
  • exhibit appropriate courtroom behavior
  • have the ability to testify relevantly
When defendants are found incompetent to proceed, criminal court proceedings are halted. If competency is restored, defendants return to court and criminal case proceedings resume. Not guilty by reason of insanity excludes a defendant from criminal responsibility based on his/her mental state at the time of the alleged crime. It is not a general incapacity or mental illness, but a mental deficiency that impaired a defendant's ability to understand the wrongfulness of the conduct and/or the consequences of his or her actions. Please refer to the following references for specific information on Florida laws which govern criminal court proceedings involving mentally insufficient and mentally ill defendants: Florida Statutes, Chapter 916
Rules of Criminal Procedure, Rules 3.210 - 3.219

How long does it take for the judge to receive the results of an evaluation?

One responsibility of the Mental Health Administrator's Office is to ensure that judges receive evaluation reports in a timely manner. If a judge orders an expedited evaluation, it should be completed within 48 hours. If a full evaluation is requested, it should be completed within 7 to 10 days from the court order.  

Who conducts the evaluations?

By Florida law, each of the State's 20 judicial circuits are required to maintain a list of "disinterested qualified experts" for evaluation and/or testimony purposes. Evaluations in Miami-Dade County are conducted by psychiatrists and psychologists who are either in private practice or who practice at Jackson Memorial Hospital under a special working agreement with the Court.  

Who do I contact for further information about the Mental Health Administrator's Office?
You may contact Patricia Grau  or Esther Jimenez at (305) 548-5595.  

Who do I call if I am a person with a disability who needs assistance to participate in a court proceeding, program or service?

Please contact ADA Coordinator, at:
Voice Mail: (305) 349-7175
TDD: (305) 349-7174
Fax No:. (305) 349-7355
Email:. ADA@jud11.flcourts.org
 
 

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