NFMHS Services

The Central Mental Hospital is registered as an Approved Centre under the Mental Health Act 2001 and is a designated centre under the Criminal Law Insanity Act 2006, offering a range of health care services that are all listed below.

Our staff are all specially trained in forensic training working in multi-disciplinary teams supported by our highly experienced nursing force. The clinical staff are supported by our administrative and non-administrative staff to provide the best service to patients.

One of the services provided as part of the NFMHS, is the Prison Inreach and Court Liaison Service (PICLS)

What is PICLS?

A multidisciplinary psychiatric service to assist Courts  in identifying defendants with major mental illness and provide practical solutions to accessing appropriate mental health care through liaison with community services. PICLS has helped arrange diversions from custody to healthcare for over 1000 people with severe mental illness since 2006. 

Our Aims and Objectives are

  • to identify people with major mental illness remanded to prison and arrange appropriate mental health care in a safe environment based upon individualised needs and risk assessment.
  • to deliver high quality healthcare in a prison setting and facilitate recovery and reduce recidivism by developing and maintaining links with community mental health services and other support agencies.

Why is PICLS Relevant?

  • Courts may have concerns regarding Fitness to be Tried.
  • Courts may wish to consider use of non-custodial options for defendants with major mental illness charged with less serious offences such as Bail or Section 12 of the Mental Health Act 2001.
  • Courts may have difficulty accessing psychiatric services locally for such defendants in such cases.

How can PICLS assist the Court?

  • Can help identify those defendants with major mental illness.
  • Can provide timely voluntary psychiatric reports and reports on request advising regarding Fitness to be Tried and psychiatric disposal options.
  • Can identify those needing treatment in High Secure settings such as the Central Mental Hospital.
  • Can arrange access to treatment with local psychiatric services for those needing treatment in other settings.
  • Can attend court to provide updated information regarding health and treatment needs.

How is this done?

  • Reports can be requested by Courts and Legal Practitioners.
  • Defendants are identified by screening in remand centres and voluntary reports provided.
  • Liaison with appropriate local psychiatric services to arrange treatment in the event of non-custodial disposal.
  • PICLS staff will attend court when required and assist in arranging transport if hospitalisation is indicated.

When should I refer to PICLS?

  • If psychiatric treatment in local hospitals or community services may permit non-custodial disposal.
  • Generally these will involve defendants charged with less serious offences who have known or suspected major mental illness (other than addiction problems, which may be referred to the Drugs Court).
  • If Fitness to be Tried is in question.

Is PICLS unique to Ireland?

  • No, court liaison and diversion services work effectively in many jurisdictions, including Australia, Canada, the UK and USA.

How do I refer to PICLS?