Psychiatric Quarterly [psaq] ph223-psaq-471520 August 6, 2003 22:4 Style ﬁle version June 4th, 2002
Psychiatric Quarterly, Vol. 75, No. 1, Spring 2004 (
The Interface Between Forensic/Correctional
And Mental Health Service Systems
Raul H. Vispo, M.D. and Martin H. Von Holden, D.P.A.
In the early 90’s, the Group for the Advancement of Psychiatry pointed
out that, “The mental health professional choosing to engage in foren-
sic work will encounter a system of goals, assumptions, and methods
distinctly different from those found in the clinical setting.” (1)
While for the most part this is still true, it is felt that the distinc-
tion between these systems is changing constantly and becoming more
diffuse. The articles in this special section were selected with an eye
on exploring this interface and the evolutionary process that is taking
place in forensic/correctional and mental health systems.
John Petrila explores the nature of forensic practice and its evolution-
ary development in today’s mental health service world. He makes the
point that rather than forensic being the “backwater” issue of yester-
day, it has come to permeate mental health practice due to changes in
the legal system, changes in social policy, and advancements in clinical
Hal Smith et al. describe a 25 year experience with a community men-
tal health service system model within the New York state correctional
system. The implications of this service delivery system, known as the
“New York model,” have had national and international ramiﬁcations
Joel Dvoskin and Erin Spiers target an essential staff component of
the prison system when they explore the important role of correctional
ofﬁcers in the success of prison mental health systems, especially as
the number of seriously mentally ill individuals continues to increase
in correctional settings nationwide.
2004 Human Sciences Press, Inc.