Whiting Forensic Division

Connecticut Valley Hospital is comprised of three divisions: general psychiatry; addiction services; and Whiting forensic services. Patients receiving the services from the Whiting forensic division may reside in the Whiting maximum security building, the Dutcher medium security building or the restoration to competency unit located in Battell Hall. Although the Whiting Forensic Division receives the majority of its admissions by order of a criminal court, Whiting is a hospital administered by DMHAS and is therefore obligated to provide active and effective treatment. It is not a correctional facility.

Who can be sent to Whiting
The majority of Whiting admissions are criminal defendants who have been ordered to undergo evaluations and /or treatment related to their competency to stand trial. In addition, most people acquitted of criminal charges because they were adjudged to be “a not guilty by reason of insanity” are admitted to Whiting and their treatment is supervised by Connecticut’s Psychiatric Security Review Board (I think they have a web site we can link to). The Department of Corrections is permitted to transfer prisoners to Whiting if DOC determines it cannot properly care for them in a DOC facility or if at the end of their sentence DOC or a court determines that they meet the standards for civil commitment. Civil patients may be admitted to Whiting Forensic Division when DMHAS personnel determine enhanced security is required.

Patients’ Rights at Whiting
Whiting residents are generally afforded the same rights as all other patients. Under the terms of the Roe v. Hogan Consent decree, patients must receive equal treatment regardless of their legal status. There are however a few limitations placed on the rights of Whiting residents. For instance the CT Patient’s Bill of Rights provides that Whiting maximum security residents are not permitted to be present for room searches and are subject to greater restrictions with regard to possession of personal property.

Discharge Planning at Whiting
The discharge planning process at Whiting is significantly different from the discharge planning process at other DMHAS in-patient facilities. For instance, a patient who has been court ordered to undergo evaluation or treatment at Whiting cannot be released from Whiting without permission of the sending court. Similarly, patients who were charged with crimes but found to be not guilty by reason of insanity are under the supervision of Psychiatric Security Review Board (PSRB) and must obtain the formal approval of PSRB for each phase of their discharge process. The Hospital submits its plans to the PSRB which holds hearings at which the prosecutor representing the area of the original crime has the opportunity for scrutiny and/or objection. Once permission is approved, a Memorandum of Decision is received from the PSRB containing the specificity in reporting they require in the case. Denials also contain recommendations for further treatment.