Forensic Mental Health Services

Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre Forensic Program serves adult individuals who come into conflict with the law and who may have a psychiatric disorder. The program serves Northwestern Ontario from the Manitoba border to White River. Both inpatient and outpatient services are provided.

Inpatient Services

The Forensic Program inpatient unit is a 20-bed secure adult unit. The mandate of inpatient services is to:

  • Fulfill legal requirements for Court-ordered assessments of individuals with possible psychiatric disorders who are referred by the criminal justice system
  • Assess, treat, and rehabilitate clients with psychiatric disorders who have been charged with a criminal offence and/or are under the jurisdiction of the Ontario Review Board
  • Make recommendations to the criminal justice system based on the client’s history, clinical progress, and current mental status
  • Assist clients to achieve their optimal level of bio-psychosocial functioning for eventual community re-integration
  • Where appropriate, arrange adequate community follow-up and after-care based on individual needs for designated forensic clients

The Forensic Inpatient Service provides extensive assessment, treatment, and rehabilitation. Specific treatment plans are developed to meet individual client needs, which may include individual or group therapy that involves a variety of clinical programming. Inpatient services are provided using an interdisciplinary team approach consisting of the following professional disciplines:

  • Psychiatry
  • Nursing
  • Social Work
  • Psychology
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Leisure Life Skills
  • Vocational Rehabilitation
  • Nutrition
  • Spiritual Care


Visitor Information and Restrictions

Forensic Mental Health Services at Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre believes that visits are therapeutic and contribute to the well being of our clients. Visits allow family and friends to familiarize themselves with the programs we provide. The following information provides you with an explanation of our Visiting Policy.

Visiting hours are from 2 pm to 5 pm; 6pm to 7pm; and 8 pm to 8:30 pm daily.

  • All visits must be pre-arranged by phoning the Forensic Inpatient Unit at (807) 684-6450
  • All visits are for an hour at a time (with the exception of the 8:00 – 8:30 p.m. time slot)
  • Up to three visitors are allowed at a time
  • All visits are monitored by a video camera by security
  • Visitors will be expected to place jackets, bags and purses in a locker at the entrance of the unit before each visit
  • Children 16 years of age and under are not allowed to visit unless it has been approved by the psychiatrist; those allowed must be accompanied and supervised by an adult during the entire visit
  • Patients have the right to refuse visits; when this occurs, we respect the decision of the patient
  • At times, visits may interfere with the patient’s treatment and in those cases visits are cancelled/postponed for the safety and well-being of the patient
  • No visitor who is under the influence of alcohol, or is abusive and aggressive, or demonstrates inappropriate behaviour will be allowed to visit
  • No pets are allowed to visit
  • Furniture in the visitor’s room is not to be rearranged for security surveillance reasoning
  • Due to the length of the client’s stay and storage space, suitcases and/or boxes of personal effects brought in by visitors will not be accepted
  • All parcels and gifts that are brought for clients will be searched to ensure that safety and appropriateness is maintained; for example, sealed beverages (i.e. pop in plastic bottles) are allowed


The following articles should not be brought to the Health Sciences Centre: jewellery, other valuables, knives, cutlery, scissors, medicine, alcohol or any item that would be considered as a potential weapon, posing a threat to an individual, fellow patient or staff.

Outpatient Services

Continuity of care continues with forensic outpatient services provided both in Thunder Bay and Northwestern Ontario. Individual follow-up is provided according to identified client needs and/or legal requirements. Consistent assessment, treatment, and on-going rehabilitation are provided for a designated forensic population. The Forensic Outpatient Program works closely with all relevant community agencies associated with the client.

In addition to the Forensic Outpatient Program, the Forensic Program provides the Northwestern Ontario Sexual Behaviours Program (NOSBP). Comprehensive assessment, treatment, and rehabilitation are provided as well as individual and group therapy to address various sexual behaviour issues. Referrals to this program are received by Probation and Parole, Children’s Aid Society, Correctional Services, and by primary care providers including family physicians.

Mental Health Court Support services are offered at the Ontario Provincial Courthouse. A designated Court support worker provides consultation and liaison to various officers of the Court, such as the Judiciary, Crown Attorneys, lawyers, police, and Probation and Parole.

The Forensic Program also provides a Fitness Clinic at the Thunder Bay District Jail. Psychiatry as well as an additional member of the interdisciplinary team attends the jail one afternoon per week to conduct fitness assessments as ordered by the Courts.