Division of Forensic Psychiatry

The Division of Forensic Psychiatry

Forensic psychiatry is defined as the application of the general principles of psychiatry to matters of the law.  The division aims to build a community of scholars to promote excellence in research in forensic psychiatry and disseminate this information through education. We anticipate that this education will lead to clinical excellence and improved standard of practice.  The division has over 50 members and is the biggest division in Canada, and possibly the world.  Members of the division are involved in education and research into forensic psychiatry, as well as delivering a range of services including management and treatment of those patients under the auspices of the Ontario review board; acting as experts; consulting with a wide range of third parties in civil and criminal law; consultation and in-reach into correctional facilities; and the sexual behaviors clinic.  Our members also advocate for services for mentally abnormal offenders and consult with various levels of government regarding both laws and statutes involving the mentally ill, as well as the provision of services for the mentally abnormal offender.  As well as forensic psychiatrists, other disciplines such as forensic psychology and lawyers and judges are members of the division.

The division is based at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) in Toronto.  In this facility we have close to 200 inpatient beds and over 200 outpatients.  Dr. Sandy Simpson is the chief of forensic psychiatry at this facility.  We also have two community affiliated hospitals, the only high security hospital in Ontario, Waypoint Centre for Mental health care, and Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences.

The division director is Dr. Graham Glancy.

Education

The division of forensic psychiatry is involved in what was the first subspecialist training program in forensic psychiatry in Canada, known as the PGY-6 program.  We have facilities for training up to four residents per year.  The program director is Dr. Sumeeta Chatterjee.

We also have active postgraduate training for residents in general psychiatry.  As well as generating an interest in the subspecialty of forensic psychiatry we can provide training for general psychiatry residents in such essential skills as assessment of prediction of risk, diagnosis and management of sexual behaviors, disability assessments, and report writing skills amongst others.  The coordinator for postgraduate education is Dr. Robert McMaster.

We also actively involved in the training of medical students, many of whom develop an early interest in the field.  This includes a summary training program for medical students.  The coordinator for this program is Dr. Mitesh Patel.

Members of the division are also involved in the development of the subspecialty at the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.  Dr. Glancy is the chair of the examination committee, and Dr. Lisa Ramshaw and Dr. Chatterjee, as well as Dr. Glancy, sat on the committee to design the program for competence-by-design for national dissemination.

Research

A number of the faculty are actively involved in research into various aspects of forensic psychiatry.  The resource coordination committee is chaired by Dr. Roland JonesDr. Nathan Kolla heads the Violence Prevention Neurobiological Research Unit.  Other members of the division are actively involved in research and commentary about various aspects of forensic psychiatry, which results in the acquisition of a number of research grants and the production of a significant number of papers and books on forensic psychiatry produced by members of the division.