Vancouver Intensive Supervision Unit (VISU)

facilitating positive change in our community
Vancouver Intensive Supervision Unit (VISU)

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The Vancouver Intensive Supervision Unit (VISU) provides for the effective administration of court orders, and assertive case management for adults with mental-health issues serving sentences/orders within an integrated framework comprised of Corrections Branch, Vancouver Coastal Health Authority and Watari employees.

The goal of this partnership is to enhance community safety, reduce re-offending and admissions to hospital and/or psychiatric institutions. The following principles serve as guidelines to the program:

  1. the protection of the public;
  2. the best interests of the offender, and;
  3. the effective, consistent management of offenders within the justice system and community mental health system.

For the past six years, Watari has been working with VISU to provide outreach staff for Mental Health and Addiction Specialist components of the team. Each of these positions works with clients of VISU and as part of the integrated case management team comprised of Probation Officers, Occupational Therapists, Addictions Case Managers and Mental Health Workers.

The integrated case management team at VISU provides services to sentenced offenders, with psychiatric diagnoses in the Vancouver Region, with a mandate to facilitate the transition of offenders to appropriate treatment and living assistance resources in the community. Yearly, the team jointly-serves 60 to 65 separate individuals and currently, these difficult clients are 100% housed.

Assertive case management focuses on providing assistance with basic living essentials including housing, financial management to obtain food and clothing, and health care services. Attendance at appointments is also provided, including Mental Health Teams, Forensic Outpatient Services, Ministry of Employment and Income Assistance, Court appearances and other legal matters.

VISU staff liaise with community resources to support and assist clients in obtaining services in the community as noted, as well access to other programs (i.e. educational, alcohol and drug treatment, lifeskills, etc.) This project is viewed as a positive and effective example of integrated practice at work and Watari is pleased to be a partner in it.


Referrals to the program come from a myriad of places including probation, forensics, housing providers and outreach teams.

For more information about this program, please call Ingrid Mendez at 604.328.8492 or e-mail her at