Forensic Psychiatry

The mission of the Division of Forensic Psychiatry at University Hospitals is to contribute to the field of forensic psychiatry through excellence in education, practice and research. We work collaboratively with colleagues in the justice system, healthcare system, and general psychiatrists to increase understanding of the intersection of our fields and help improve outcomes. We provide high-quality forensic psychiatry evaluations to assist finders-of-fact deciding complicated legal issues.

Forensic Psychiatry Services

The Division of Forensic Psychiatry at University Hospitals offers in-depth forensic psychiatric evaluations in the criminal and civil law arenas. We work collaboratively with colleagues in the justice system, health care system, and general psychiatrists to increase understanding of the intersection of our fields and help improve outcomes.

Our team provides high-quality forensic psychiatry evaluations to assist finders-of-fact deciding complicated legal issues. We evaluate:

  • Criminal responsibility (sanity)
  • Competency to stand trial
  • Other criminal competencies
  • Mitigation of penalty
  • Suicide and violence risk assessment
  • Malingering
  • Fitness for duty
  • Disability
  • Emotional damages
  • Testamentary capacity
  • Malpractice

As a group, we have particular expertise in each of these areas, as well as special expertise in cases of child murder by parent and detection of malingering (fabrication of symptoms). Referrals are by attorneys, courts, hospitals, schools, employers, insurance companies, licensing/ regulatory boards and organizations, but not by individuals who wish to be evaluated themselves.

To learn more, contact Forensicpsychiatry@case.edu.

Teaching Forensic Psychiatry

A central goal of our service is to increase the expertise of future health care providers in the field of forensic psychiatry.  We provide teaching for trainees across disciplines. This includes the Forensic Psychiatry Fellowship program, electives for psychiatry residents and medical students, and the Psychiatry and the Law course at Case Western Reserve University School of Law.

Forensic Psychiatry Research

Understanding the intersection of mental health and the law is a central goal of our program. Our individual research interests include:

  • Mental illness and violence
  • Homicide
  • Women and violence
  • Social justice
  • Teaching methods in forensic psychiatry

Selected Publications

  • Resnick, P.J. (1969). Child Murder by Parents: A Psychiatric Review of Filicide. American Journal of Psychiatry, 126, 325-334.
  • Resnick, P.J. (1970). Murder of the Newborn: A Psychiatric Review of Neonaticide. American Journal of Psychiatry, 126, 1414-1420.
  • Freedman, R., Ross, R., Michels, R., Appelbaum, P., Siever, L., Binder, R., Carpenter, W., Friedman, S.H., Resnick, P., & Rosenbaum, J. (2007). Psychiatrists, Mental Illness, and Violence. American Journal of Psychiatry, 164, 1315-1317.
  • Friedman, S.H., & Resnick, P.J. (2007). Child Murder by Mothers. World Psychiatry, 6, 137-141.
  • McCarthy-Jones, S., & Resnick, P.J. (2014). Listening to Voices: The Use of Phenomenology to Differentiate Malingered from Genuine Auditory Verbal Hallucinations. International Journal of Law and Psychiatry, 37, 183-189.
  • Friedman, S.H., & Hall, R.C.W. (2015). Teaching Psychopathology in a Galaxy Far, Far Away: The Light Side of the Force. Academic Psychiatry, 39, 719-725.
  • Kenedi, C., Friedman, S.H., Watson, D., & Preitner, C. (2016). Suicide and Murder-Suicide Involving Aircraft. Aerospace Medicine and Human Performance, 87, 388-396.
  • Friedman, S.H., & McEwan, M.V. (2018). Treated Mental Illness and the Risk of Child Abuse Perpetration. Psychiatric Services, 69, 211-216.
  • Friedman, S.H. & the Group for Advancement of Psychiatry (Eds). (2018). Family Murder: Pathologies of Love and Hate. American Psychiatric Association Publishing.
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