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Agency News

VADOC Mental Health Program Becomes Inaugural Site for Criminal Justice-Mental Health Learning Sites Program

June 12, 2024

The Virginia Department of Corrections (VADOC) Community Mental Health Program has been selected as one of 10 inaugural sites that will serve as model examples for the national Criminal Justice-Mental Health Learning Sites Program.

The VADOC’s Community Mental Health Program is a groundbreaking initiative that will be facilitating collaboration and knowledge exchanges, fostering innovation, and serving as mentors for other agencies who are passionate about criminal justice and behavioral health reform. Strategies will also be offered for issues including crisis response through courts, jail, reentry, and community supervision.

The program was launched in 2023 as part of the Council of State Governments’ Justice Center, to serve as a peer-to-peer learning program for law enforcement agencies seeking to build collaborative responses for people with mental health needs.

“This selection as a Criminal Justice-Mental Health Learning Site is a well-deserved recognition of VADOC’s innovative approach to addressing the mental health needs of people on community supervision in the Commonwealth,” said VADOC Director Chad Dotson. “We are very proud of the work being done by our qualified mental health professionals here in our Department.”

“The VADOC is honored to have been selected to share our best practices and experiences with other states who are interested in developing community mental health supports via district and regional mental health clinicians through the Council of State Governments,” said Dr. Denise Malone, VADOC Chief of Mental Health and Wellness.

To learn more about the Criminal Justice-Mental Health Learning Sites, visit their website at

More information about VADOC Mental Health and Wellness services can be found on the VADOC website.

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