What does a Forensic Psychiatrist do?

A forensic psychiatrist is a medical doctor with, first, the additional training of a psychiatrist, and then with special training and experience (forensic) in the application of psychiatric knowledge to questions posed by the legal system. 

 A forensic psychiatrist may also have a clinical practice. However, when acting in the capacity of a forensic specialist, he or she is not providing therapy to alleviate the patient's suffering or to help the patient be free and healthy, but an objective evaluation for use by the retaining institution, attorney, or court.

In my day-to-day practice in Western Australia I provide expert psychiatric opinion to the courts and tribunals in Western Australia dealing with fitness to stand trial, unsoundness of mind and issues of mitigation.  I also specialise in the assessment of risk recidivism of violent and sexual crimes.

A good article by Karen Lotter appears here and deals with what Forensic Psychiatry is. There can of course be no internet discussion about Forensic Psychiatry without first and foremost mentioning the Wikipedia article on Forensic Psychiatry. It refers, of course with an American slant, to issues such as "Competency Evaluation" and "Insanity".  There is additionally a list by Myron Pulier here.

A further article, by Dr Reid in Texas dealing with US Forensic Psychiatry is found here.

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