Forensic Psychiatry

This is a 1 to 12 month part-time elective that allows the resident to function in the role of consultant regarding forensic mental health issues. Residents will participate in court-ordered evaluations, discuss cases and application of legal statutes, and draft forensic reports. There are multiple opportunities for participation, including:

  • Criminal court ordered evaluations for competency to stand trial and criminal responsibility
  • Civil court ordered evaluations under the state’s Sexually Violent Predator Act
  • Family court evaluations for child custody, termination of parental rights, and adoptions
  • Civil court evaluations for workers’ compensation and disability claims
  • Group treatment of persons who have committed sexual offenses
  • Probate court assessments
  • Other forensic evaluations, treatment settings, and research projects

The resident is also able to observe courtroom testimony and etiquette by attending trials and other legal proceedings. As mental health education is a primary goal of this rotation, the resident may also attend and facilitate seminars on mental health issues relevant to the legal system. Supervision is provided by forensic psychiatrists and psychologists, and is coordinated by Dr. Fields, Dr. Lewis, and Dr. Gottfried.