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Research & Scholarship

The Law and Psychiatry Division is involved in advancing knowledge and practice in forensic psychiatry and psychology through research. Through federal, state, and university grants, investigations have explored the characteristics and aftercare of persons acquitted of criminal offenses by reason of insanity, the epidemiology of mental illness in prisons, characteristics of persons charged with sexual offenses, the nature of psychiatric risk and risk assessment, the accuracy of eyewitness accounts, the effects of jail diversion initiatives on criminal recidivism, and many other topics. These research projects have resulted in changes in practice, policy development, and further investigations.

Faculty and trainees in the Law & Psychiatry Division publish peer-reviewed articles, books, book chapters, practice guidelines, and other reports regularly. Recent publications include:

Betz ME, Frattaroli S, Knoepke CE, Johnson R, Christy A, Schleimer JP, Pear VA, McCarthy M, Kapoor R, Norko MA, Rowhani-Rahbar A, Ma W, Wintemute GJ, Swanson JW, Zeoli AM. Extreme risk protection orders use for older adults in six U.S. states: A descriptive study. Clin Gerontol (in press).

Welch C, Senman L, Loftin R, Picciolini C, Robison J, Westphal A, Perry B, Nguyen J, Jachyra P, Stevenson S, Aggarwal J, Wijekoon S, Baron-Cohen S, Penner M. Understanding the Use of the Term "Weaponized Autism" in An Alt-Right Social Media Platform. J Autism Dev Disord. 2023 Oct;53(10):4035-4046. doi: 10.1007/s10803-022-05701-0. Epub 2022 Aug 10. PMID: 35947316; PMCID: PMC10499683.

Aluri J, Haddad JM, Parke S, Schwartz V, Joshi SV, Menon M, Conrad RC. Responding to Suicide in School Communities: An Examination of Postvention Guidance from Expert Recommendations and Empirical Studies. Curr Psychiatry Rep. 2023 Aug;25(8):345-356. doi: 10.1007/s11920-023-01431-x. Epub 2023 Jul 20. PMID: 37470928.

Phillips J, Fallon B, Majeed S, Meador K, Merlino J, Neely H, Nields J, Saunders D, Norko M. Undiagnosing St Joan: She Does Not Need a Medical or Psychiatric Diagnosis. J Nerv Ment Dis. 2023 Aug 1;211(8):559-565. doi: 10.1097/NMD.0000000000001654. Epub 2023 Apr 4. PMID: 37015107.

Pham A, Dike CC. Litigation Challenges in Cases Involving Patient Suicide. J Am Acad Psychiatry Law March 2023; 51 (1) 133-135; DOI:

Olaolu O, Bryant PA. Exclusion of False Confession and Eyewitness Identification Testimonies. J Am Acad Psychiatry Law March 2023; 51 (1) 136-138; DOI:

Helland S, Wasser T. Claims of Inadequate Mental Health Treatment and Prolonged Solitary Confinement. J Am Acad Psychiatry Law March 2023; 51 (1) 138-140; DOI:

Cerdena I, Ravven S. Physician Prosecutions under the Controlled Substance Act. J Am Acad Psychiatry Law March 2023; 51 (1) 140-142; DOI:

Malka A, Baranoski MV. Competency to Proceed Pro Se and Plead Guilty to a Capital Offense. J Am Acad Psychiatry Law March 2023; 51 (1) 142-144; DOI:

Barber GS, Dike CC. Ethical and Practical Considerations for the Use of Psychedelics in Psychiatry. Psychiatr Serv. 2023 Aug 1;74(8):838-846. doi: 10.1176/ Epub 2023 Mar 29. PMID: 36987705.

Binder RL, Gandhi T, Menon M, Audu A, Nesbit A, Ridout KK, Campbell J, Garayalde S, Dike CC. Considerations for the Writing of Certification Letters Endorsing Use of Emotional Support Animals. Psychiatr Serv. 2023 Sep 1;74(9):963-969. doi: 10.1176/ Epub 2023 Mar 29. PMID: 36987706.

Buchanan A, Stefanovics E, Rosenheck R. Victimization in schizophrenia and its relation to violence. Schizophr Res. 2023 May;255:52-58. doi: 10.1016/j.schres.2023.03.018. Epub 2023 Mar 22. PMID: 36963231.

Zhong R, Moreno A, Wasser T. A Proposal for the Capacity to Stipulate to Civil Commitment and a 50-State Review of Statutes. J Am Acad Psychiatry Law March 2023; 51 (1) 93-102; DOI: 10.29158/JAAPL.220044-22

Wasser T. A Saturation Point for Criminal Legal Diversion. Psychiatr Serv. 2023 Jan 1;74(1):1. doi: 10.1176/ PMID: 36587279.

Carr ER, Sebastian D, Dike C, Hillbrand M. When Trauma Survivors with Psychosis Accuse Staff of Sexual Assault in Inpatient Psychiatric Care. Community Ment Health J. 2023 Apr;59(3):409-419. doi: 10.1007/s10597-022-01027-4. Epub 2022 Oct 27. Erratum in: Community Ment Health J. 2022 Dec 5;: PMID: 36301379.

Zeoli AM, Frattaroli S, Barnard L, Bowen A, Christy A, Easter M, Kapoor R, Knoepke C, Ma W, Molocznik A, Norko M, Omaki E, Paruk JK, Pear VA, Rowhani-Rahbar A, Schleimer JP, Swanson JW, Wintemute GJ. Extreme risk protection orders in response to threats of multiple victim/mass shooting in six U.S. states: A descriptive study. Prev Med. 2022 Dec;165(Pt A):107304. doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2022.107304. Epub 2022 Oct 17. PMID: 36265579.

Westphal ARN. Neurodevelopmental Conditions and the NGRI Defense. J Am Acad Psychiatry Law. 2022 Sep;50(3):369-372. doi: 10.29158/JAAPL.220049-22. Epub 2022 Aug 25. PMID: 36007943.

Weiner S, Lingafelter N, Ali M, Wu J, Walia H, Wasser T, Hirschtritt ME. A Brief Course on Forensic Psychiatry Principles. Acad Psychiatry. 2023 Feb;47(1):107-108. doi: 10.1007/s40596-022-01687-0. Epub 2022 Jul 19. PMID: 35854173.

Woodbury-Smith MR, Loftin R, Westphal A, Volkmar FR. Vulnerability to Ideologically-Motivated Violence Among Individuals With Autism Spectrum Disorder. Front Psychiatry. 2022 Mar 25;13:873121. doi: 10.3389/fpsyt.2022.873121. PMID: 35401260; PMCID: PMC8990964.