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Behavioral Health

Behavioral Health

Adult & Juvenile Forensic Psychiatric Services

Forensic psychiatry is a branch of medicine which focuses on the interface of law and mental health. WellSpan Health offers these services in the communities we serve and may include psychiatric consultation in a wide variety of legal matters (sometimes with expert testimony), as well as clinical work.

A forensic psychiatrist is a medical doctor (M.D. or D.O.) who has completed several years of additional training in the understanding, diagnosis, and treatment of mental disorders. These physicians complete four years of medical school followed by a four year psychiatric residency. Some practitioners of forensic psychiatry have additional training and/or experience related to the various interfaces of mental health (or mental illness) with the law such as a fellowship in forensic psychiatry. In addition, a juvenile forensic psychiatrist may complete a two year child and adolescent fellowship. 


WellSpan Behavioral Health offers a variety of evaluations that can aid in evaluating mental health status. These evaluations can be applied to issues in legal contexts embracing civil, criminal and correctional or legislative matters.

Types of evaluations offered include:

  • Criminal evaluations

    • Competency to stand trial
    • Criminal responsibility
    • Treatment recommendations to the courts to aid in sentencing
    • Consultation to the courts, defense counsel and district attorney's office on psychiatric issues
    • Dangerousness of children and adolescents
    • Reliability of child witness interview and/or testimony
  • Civil evaluations 

    • Independent psychiatric evaluations for insurance company disability evaluations 
    • Independent psychiatric evaluations for corporations regarding individual employee issues 
    • Independent psychiatric evaluations for fitness for duty and dangerousness involving medicine, law enforcement, Department of Defense, Department of Veteran's Affairs, Homeland Security and Immigration and Naturalization Services 
    • Evaluations and consultation on standard of care issues, medical malpractice and negligence
    • Various competency evaluations such as incapacitated persons, medical decision making, testamentory capacity, financial responsibility and others.

Current Provider(s)

Jessica Talley, M.D. serves as WellSpan Behavioral Health's adult and juvenile forensic psychiatrist.  She has completed general training in psychiatry as well as fellowships in forensic psychiatry and child and adolescent psychiatry.  In addition to performing evaluations, she can provide expert consultation and court testimony.  Dr. Talley is board certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology in General Psychiatry as well as the subspecialties of Forensic Psychiatry and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

For more information about our forensic psychiatry services or to refer a client for an evaluation, please call (717) 812-4225 or (717) 812-4053.

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About the provider search

This search will provide you with WellSpan Medical Group and Northern Lancaster County (Ephrata) Medical Group primary care physicians and specialists. If we don’t have a WellSpan Medical Group physician to meet your criteria, the search will expand to include community physicians who partner with WellSpan Medical Group physicians through the WellSpan Provider Network or provide care to patients on the Medical Staffs of WellSpan’s Hospitals.


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