Psychiatric Quarterly [psaq] ph223-psaq-471521 August 6, 2003 22:7 Style ﬁle version June 4th, 2002
Psychiatric Quarterly, Vol. 75, No. 1, Spring 2004 (
EMERGING ISSUES IN FORENSIC
John Petrila, J.D., LL.M.
Forensic mental health traditionally was considered the backwater of forensic
practice. However, because of advances in knowledge regarding the core issues
of capacity and risk, and because of changes in the location of forensic assess-
ment and treatment, “forensic” issues now permeate mental health practice
and policy. While these advances have been important, there are a number
of new issues that will occupy the attention of practitioners, researchers, and
policymakers in the future. This article explores these issues and their implica-
tions, including the need to better integrate treatment and risk; the need to ad-
dress the emergence of special jurisdiction courts and their impact on systems
design issues; the need to address the impact of conservative social policies,
particularly in the areas of juvenile justice and sexual predator legislation; and
the need to better understand the use of coercion in the context of community
KEY WORDS: forensics; risk assessment; mental health policy.
John Petrila is Chair and Professor, Department of Mental Health Law and Policy,
Louis de la Parte Florida Mental Health Institute, University of South Florida, Tampa,
Address correspondence to John Petrila, J.D., LL.M., Department of Mental Health
Law and Policy, Louis de la Parte Florida Mental Health Institute, University of South
Florida, Tampa, FL 33612; e-mail: email@example.com.
2004 Human Sciences Press, Inc.