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The Forensics Program at Ontario Shores

Police Officer with Patient

The term ‘Forensics’ is used in mental health to describe a situation where the legal and mental health systems intersect. This occurs when an individual who has a serious mental illness comes in contact with the law as a result of committing a crime. The courts may find an individual Not Criminally Responsible or Unfit to Stand Trial on account of a mental illness. In these circumstances, the Ontario Review Board (ORB) will refer individuals to a mental health care facility with an order for assessment and/or treatment. The ORB is responsible to determine the level of security required to keep both the individual and the public safe.

The Forensic Program at Ontario Shores provides assessment, treatment, rehabilitation and community reintegration services to patients who have come in contact with the law. With individual recovery plans, patients can progress to a less restrictive environment and return to the community, consistent with public safety and within the limits of their defined Ontario Review Board (ORB) Dispositions. Forensic patients are referred to Ontario Shores through the court system only, or under the jurisdiction of the Ontario Review Board.

What to Expect

Secure Units

Patients on the secure forensic units have access to privileges to leave the unit on staff-accompanied excursions for therapeutic recreation activities and walks on the grounds. The focus of these units is on assessment, stabilization and rehabilitation. The secure units include Forensic Assessment Unit (FAU)Forensic Assessment and Rehabilitation Unit (FARU) Forensic Rehabilitation Unit (FRU) and Women's Acute Stabilization Unit

General Units

Patients on the general forensic units have access to privileges to leave the unit on time-limited unaccompanied excursions. The focus of these units is to reintegrate patients back to living in the community and supporting them along their journey, by encouraging and supporting educational goals and through vocational employment services. The general units include Forensic Psychiatric Rehabilitation Unit (FPRU)Forensic Transitional Unit (FTU) and Forensic Community Reintegration Unit (FCRU).

Crafted tree with personal messages on leaves

Treatment Mall

On a quarterly schedule patients may select either one-to-one or group-based therapy focused on their personal recovery goals. Examples of therapies include: Building Healthy Relationships, Relapse Prevention, and Mindful Moments.

Inpatient Services and Amenities

Inpatients have access to several practical amenities such as food services, laundry, mail, transportation, hair salon, library, clothing shop, wifi and much more. 

Learn what is available

Book Shelves
Conditioning Room

Supporting your Wellness Goals

Mental Illness can make it difficult for individuals to manage other aspects of their health and wellbeing. For example, they may also struggle with personal care, nutrition, or fitness. At Ontario Shores patients work with their care team to define and support their overall wellness goals.

Learn how we can help


As patients make progress through their individual recovery plans they may return to living in the community, consistent with public safety and within the limits of their defined Ontario Review Board (ORB) Dispositions. Patients who are ready for this step will do so with support and follow-up through the Forensic Outpatient Service (FOS).

Consultation, Education and Research

The Forensics program also provides Forensic Youth Assessment as well as  consultation, education and research services to other organizations and the broader mental health community upon request. 

For information pertaining to admission to the Forensic Program and for court related inquiries, please contact:

Robin Bowerman
905.668.5881 ext. 6580 (local)
800.341.6323 ext. 6580 (toll free)
905.665.2460 (fax)

ORB Status Pamphlets


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