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Forensic Psychiatry in the People's Republic of China

Gao, Beilin MD, PhD*; Reid, William H. MD, MPH; Li, Jesse

Journal of Psychiatric Practice®: March 2011 - Volume 17 - Issue 2 - p 129–132
doi: 10.1097/01.pra.0000396065.79719.1e

Forensic psychiatry is practiced somewhat differently in the People's Republic of China (PRC) than in the United States. In the United States, psychiatrists and psychologists often work at the interface of mental health and criminal, civil, family, correctional, and law enforcement matters. Their roles in the United States are sometimes consultative and sometimes more direct, sometimes as agency or government employees but often as private forensic practitioners. In China, forensic roles have only recently expanded from the criminal law context. Forensic psychiatrists are almost always government agents/employees, and evaluations usually address only criminal responsibility. One of the authors (Dr. Gao), after spending almost a year in the United States working with Dr. Reid and other professionals, introduced several new forensic concepts to Kangning Hospital in the coastal city of Shenzhen. Many of those concepts have changed forensic procedures in the Guangdong region and are spreading more broadly in China. (Journal of Psychiatric Practice. 2011;17:129–132).

*Chinese Forensic Psychiatric Academy and Director, Department of Forensic Psychiatry, Kangning Hospital, Shenzhen, Guangdong China

Clinical and forensic psychiatrist, Horseshoe Bay, TX

Neuroscience student, University of California, Los Angeles

© 2011 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.