Howard Zonana, MD

Professor of Psychiatry and Professor (Adjunct) of Law

Departments & Organizations

Psychiatry: Connecticut Mental Health Center | Division of Law and Psychiatry

Program for Biomedical Ethics

Office of Cooperative Research


When Howard Zonana, MD, first became interested in forensic psychiatry, there was little connection between law and psychiatry in the City of New Haven, the State of Connecticut, or the Yale campus. In the mid-1970's, Dr. Zonana joined up with Marc Rubenstein and Lansing Crane, who were trying to create a forensic psychiatry program. They created the Yale Law and Psychiatry Division.

The Division is part of the Yale School of Medicine Psychiatry Department and Connecticut Mental Health Center. It is made up of four sections – forensic services, the New Haven Court Clinic, the Jail Diversion Program and research and scholarship. The staff includes licensed psychiatrists, psychologists, nurses and social workers as well as a training program in Forensic Psychiatry with funding for four fellows chosen annually through a competitive selection process. The work focuses on evaluations for the courts in civil and criminal matters, e.g. competency, criminal responsibility, pre-sentence evaluations, psychic harm.

Dr. Zonana also chaired the YNHH Bioethics Committee for over 15 years and remains a member of the Committee. He also has an Adjunct Appt at Yale Law School and consults to Clinics there, such as the Immigration, Veterans, and Criminal Clinics where law students under supervision, represent clients. He also works with the American Psychiatric Assn. on the Council of Psychiatry and the Law and Judicial Action Committee.

Education & Training

MD Johns Hopkins University (1962)
Assistant Professor Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, CT
Candidate Western New England Institute of Psychoanalysis
Chief Resident Day Hospital
Psychiatry Residency Harvard at Massachusetts Mental Health Center, Boston Massachusetts
Internship Albert Einstein College of Medicine- Jacobi Hospital NYC, NY

Honors & Recognition

  • Isaac Ray AwardAPA-AAPL (2012)

  • Golden Apple AwardThe American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law (2006)

  • Connecticut Psychiatric Society Service AwardConnecticut Psychiatric Society (2004)

  • Special Presidential CommendationAmerican Psychiatric Association and the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law (2003)

  • The Outstanding Educator Award, Tri-State ChapterAmerican Academy Of Psychiatry and the Law (2000)

  • Seymour Pollack AwardThe American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law (2000)

  • Honorary Masters of ArtsYale Corporation (1993)

  • Silver AppleAmerican Academy of Psychiatry and the Law (1993)

  • Outstanding Service AwardAmerican Academy of Psychiatry & the Law (1991)

  • Outstanding Faculty, Psychiatric Residents Association Teaching AwardYale University School of Medicine (1990)

  • Connecticut Civil Liberties Union Citation of Merit (1984)

  • FellowAmerican Psychiatric Association (1976)

  • Henry Strong Denison ScholarJohns Hopkins University, School of Medicine (1961)

  • Phi Kappa PhiSyracuse University (1958)

  • Magna Cum LaudeSyracuse University (1958)

  • Phi Beta KappaSyracuse University (1957)

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