Secondary Logo

Journal Logo

Institutional members access full text with Ovid®

New Guidelines for Forensic Assessment


Journal of Psychiatric Practice®: March 2016 - Volume 22 - Issue 2 - p 124–127
doi: 10.1097/PRA.0000000000000141
COLUMNS: Law and Psychiatry

The American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law (AAPL) recently published guidelines for forensic assessment intended for psychiatrists and other clinicians working in medicolegal roles, or performing evaluations and offering opinions in relation to legal or regulatory matters. Although these guidelines do not establish a singular standard for forensic evaluation, they are intended to inform practice. Although nuances pertaining to any given case and the pertinent medicolegal issues involved will require professional judgment as to how best to conduct any particular evaluation, the guidelines do offer many helpful tenets and guiding principles that are broadly applicable. Psychiatrists and other clinicians performing forensic evaluations need to be aware of these guidelines and should strive to incorporate them as appropriate. In this column we offer a brief synopsis of the approach to the forensic psychiatric assessment based upon the AAPL Practice Guideline for the Forensic Assessment.

VASILE: Psychiatry Resident, University of Colorado, Denver, CO

HAMALIAN: Denver Health Medical Center and Assistant Professor, University of Colorado, Denver, CO

WORTZEL: Michael K. Cooper Professor of Neurocognitive Disease, Director of Neuropsychiatry, and Associate Professor in Psychiatry, Neurology, and Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, and Faculty for the Forensic Psychiatry Fellowship at the University of Colorado, Denver, CO; Director of Neuropsychiatric Services for the Rocky Mountain MIRECC, Denver VA, Denver, CO

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Please send correspondence to: Hal S. Wortzel, MD, Rocky Mountain MIRECC, Denver VA, 1055 Clermont Street, Denver, CO (e-mail:

Copyright © 2016 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.