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Division of Forensic and Correctional Psychiatry

Clinical Director: Dr. Tariq Hassan MBBS, FRCPsych, FRCP(C) Psychiatry, FRCPC Forensic Psychiatry 
Administrative Support: Chantal Thompson

Vision

The Division of Forensic and Correctional Psychiatry, Queen's University, is an academic and clinical division devoted to providing clinical services, teaching, and research at the intersection of mental health and the law.

We strive to be a leader in providing evidence-based care for forensic clients, high quality teaching, and innovative research and program development.

Mission

To provide specialized multidisciplinary forensic mental health services for adults with mental illness who have come into contact with the criminal justice system, and increase the capacity to provide these services through research, teaching, and work with community partners.

 

Forensic Community Service (FOCUS) Program

The FOCUS Program is a multi-disciplinary forensic program that provides community mental health services for mentally ill offenders who have had or currently have contact with the criminal justice system and who are residing in the community.  We provide outpatient assessments, follow-up intervention and psychological services predominantly for individuals with severe mental illness who are at risk of criminal behaviour.  Our service acts in partnership with local probation and court diversion services as well as receiving referrals internally through the Forensic Division.

Inpatient Forensic Services

Inpatient Forensic Services is a 30-bed unit located at Providence Care Hospital.  The unit accepts patients from all over Ontario almost exclusively through either judicial order (Judge's Order) or via a decision of the Ontario Review Board (ORB).  The unit provides services to both men and women who have come into conflict with the criminal justice system.  Patients admitted on a Judge's Order (Section 672 of the Canadian Criminal Code), are shorter-stay patients, typically admitted for 30-day inpatient psychiatric asssessments.  These assessments serve to provide recommendations to the court concerning the legal issues of Fitness to Stand Trial and/or Criminal Responsibility related to pending criminal charges.  Judicial orders may also be for psychiatric treatment, for patients who have been found unfit to stand trial.  The unit typically provides services to 5-8 patients under Judge's Order at a given time.

Patients admitted under an ORB detention are longer-stay patients.  Treatment and rehabilitation services are provided with the mandate of ensuring public safety within the least onerous and least restrictive conditions, using a Recovery Model of care.  Clinical services are provided by a full multidisciplinary team including psychiatry, nursing, social work, psychology, occupational therapy, and recreation therapy.  As a teaching hospital, students and residents from various disciplines are also active members of the clinical team.  The unit typically provides services to 22-25 patients who are under an ORB detention order.

Outpatient Forensic Services

Patients whose Ontario Review Board disposition allows for community living are provided ongoing clinical services and supervision in the community.  These services are provided both in the home and community and through appointments in hospital.  Outpatient Forensic Services are provided primarily by a psychiatric nurse and/or social worker and all patients are followed by a psychiatrist.  The outpatient team also includes a Frontenac Community Mental Health Services Transitional Case Manager.  Outpatients may also receive psychological intervention services on an as-needed basis.  As with Inpatient Services, the mandate of Outpatient Services is to ensure the safety of the public with the least onerous and least restrictive approach.  Forensic Outpatients are empowered to develop the necessary skills needed to be productive members of society, following a Recovery Model of Care.

Correctional Psychiatry Services

Faculty with the Department of Psychiatry, Forensic Division also have ties with the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC), and with provincial correctional and detention facilities (e.g. Quinte Detention Centre).  In addition, the division has links with the Family Law Clinic.  Residents completing rotations with the Forensic Division have the opportunity to gain additional experience with these other services.

There are opportunities to visit Corrections Canada and be supervised in psychiatric assessments and management of patients there.  There are also opportunities to do clinics under supervision at the Family Law clinics.

Telepsychiatry

The Forensic Division actively utilizes telepsychiatry in its operations.  Mentally ill offenders awaiting trial at Quinte Detention Centre are assessed via video conference and triaged as to whether they require an inpatient forensic admission for further assessment and/or treatment.  We also use tele-psychiatry to provide outpatient psychiatric services to the Metis Nation of Ontario.

Current Research and Program Development/Evaluation

Inpatient Safety

a. Grading Risk of Inpatient Threat (GRIT)

GRIT is an assessment, communication, and risk management system for the imminent (within 24 hours) risk of inpatient violence.  It has been designed for use on the Forensic Services Inpatient Unit at Providence Care, based on current research on imminent risk for violence, practices at other forensic facilities, and current legislative requirements.  GRIT will shortly be pilot tested on Forensic Services; an adapted version of the GRIT system will later be implemented on other inpatient units at Providence Care Mental Health Services.  The GRIT system will be formally evaluated for effectiveness in reduction of inpatient violence.  In addition, data from the project may be combined with data from similar implementations at other forensic sites, as part of a larger scale multi-site research project.

Project Lead/Primary Investigator: Dr. Rebecca Douglas
Collaborators: Kim Knight, RN; Dr. Tariq Hassan

b. SAFEWARDS implemented on forensic units to improve inpatient safety

The Safewards Model outlines ‘originating domains’ that can give rise to certain ‘flashpoints’ that can trigger an incident or ‘conflict’. Conflict is defined as any action or behaviour that can threaten the safety of a patient and those around them. Another main component of Safewards is ‘containment’—actions that staff must take in order to eliminate or reduce conflict.

Originating domains are those six broad aspects that affect a patient’s well-being: patient community, patient characteristics, the regulatory framework, the staff team, the physical environment, and factors outside of the hospital (i.e., visitors). The flashpoints are social situations or behaviours or ways of thinking arising from those originating domains that can trigger a conflict.

 

Members

Dr. Tariq Hassan MBBS, FRCPsych, FRCPC Psychiatry, FRCPC Forensic Psychiatry

Clinical Director and Division Chair
Associate Professor in Forensic Psychiatry
Queen’s University Department of Psychiatry
c/o Providence Care Hospital
752 King Street West, Kingston, ON, Canada. K7L4X3

Email: hassant@queensu.ca

Dr. Hassan

Biography

Dr. Tariq Hassan MBBS, FRCPsych, FRCPC Forensic psychiatry is the clinical director of Forensic Psychiatry and President Medical Staff Association at Providence Care Hospital in Kingston, ON. He is also an associate professor in forensic psychiatry and head of the division of forensic psychiatry in Queen’s university. His academic interests include developing forensic psychiatry as a subspecialty in Pakistan and the attitudes of physicians in becoming mentally ill. He is actively involved in clinical and academic service expansion of forensic psychiatry in Corrections Canada and community forensic psychiatry. He also serves as an editorial board member of the British Journal of Psychiatry International.

Publications

View Dr. Tariq Hassan’s publication in Google Scholar

Dr. Michael Chan BSc, MD, FRCPC

Assistant Professor in Forensic Psychiatry
Queen’s University Department of Psychiatry
c/o Providence Care Hospital
752 King Street West, Kingston, ON, Canada. K7L7X3

Email: chanm@providencecare.ca

Dr. Chan

Biography

Dr. Michael Chan is an Adjunct Assistant Professor in Psychiatry with Queen’s University. He has worked at Providence Care- Mental Health Service with the Forensic Program, since 1991.  He did his postgraduate training in Toronto and worked at St-Thomas with their Forensic Program from 1988-1991.

He is actively involved in teaching and supervising clinical clerks and psychiatry/family medicine residents. Dr. Chan is well respected and liked by his students for his teaching capabilities

Dr. Najat Khalifa MBChB, MRCPsych, DM

Associate Professor in Forensic Psychiatry
Queen’s University Department of Psychiatry
c/o Providence Care Hospital
752 King Street West, Postal Bag 603, Kingston, ON K7L7X3

Email: nrk2@queensu.ca

Dr. Khalifa

Biography

Dr Najat Khalifa is an Associate Professor in Forensic Psychiatry at Queen’s University. He is an Attending Physician at Correctional Service Canada. His research interests are use of transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) and transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS) to modulate empathy and impulsivity, personality disorder and offending behaviour, outcome measurement in forensic psychiatry, religion and mental health, and supported employment for offenders with mental disorder.

Publications

View Dr. Najat Khalifa’s publications in Google Scholar

Dr. Andrew Bickle MBChB, BMedSc, MRCPsych (UK), DipMedSc(Dist), LLM(Dist)

Assistant Professor in Forensic Psychiatry
Queen's University, Department of Psychiatry
Correctional Service Canada
c/o Providence Care Hospital
752 King Street West
Kingston, ON, K7L4X3
Canada

Email: arb12@queensu.ca 

 Dr. Bickle

Dr Andrew Bickle is an Assistant Professor in Forensic Psychiatry at Queen’s University and an Attending Physician at Correctional Services Canada, having joined from the United Kingdom in 2019.  His research interests include non-invasive brain stimulation, correctional healthcare services and mental health law.  His clinical interests include ADHD and, in addition, sex offender treatment.  He has a committee position with the Canadian ADHD Resource Alliance.