Specialized Probation for People with Mental Health Needs (Richmond, VA)

The Virginia Department of Corrections Community Mental Health Program

At A Glance

Jurisdiction: Richmond, Virginia  

Program Intercept: Specialized probation for people with mental health needs  

Population Served: People on state supervision (probation or parole) with mental health needs  


Program Summary

The Virginia Department of Corrections (VADOC) Community Mental Health Program embeds agency mental health staff into probation and parole districts to facilitate continuity of care and increase the likelihood of successful reentry for people on supervision with mental health needs.

Richmond, Virginia skyline

Jeff Horne Via Wikimedia

Program Highlights

  • The VADOC has taken an innovative approach in addressing the mental health needs of people on state community supervision in the Commonwealth by embedding full-time mental health staff within their Probation and Parole Districts. 
  • The Community Mental Health & Wellness program currently consists of 25 district mental health clinician (DMHC) positions under the supervision of three regional mental health clinicians (RMHCs) and the mental health clinical supervisor (MHCS) for Community Corrections. Under the direct supervision of the RMHCs, DMHCs assess the mental health needs of people on probation and provide in-house consultation and training on mental health issues to probation officers.  
  • The DMHCs’ collaborations to promote successful reentry also extends to: (1) VADOC facility Mental Health & Wellness staff to coordinate reentry planning and follow-up care for people being released from state prisons; (2) local and regional jails that house people who complete State Responsible sentences but are not transferred to VADOC facilities for incarceration, as this population comprises the majority of people who are under VADOC supervision; and (3) court systems, reentry councils, community mental health and wellness organizations, private community providers, and other stakeholders involved in the continuum of care for people returning to their communities with mental health concerns. 

Website: Virginia Department of Corrections 


Patricia L. Hooker Parham, Ph.D.  
Mental Health Clinical Supervisor for Community Corrections  
Virginia Department of Corrections  
Work Cell: (804) 317-2393