Psychiatry & Behavioral Science Section News – September 2015


Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in the articles contained in the Academy News are those of the identified authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Academy.

Source:  Dean De Crisce, MD, Section Secretary

Dear Colleagues,

We hope you are all enjoying your summer. By the time our section members receive this newsletter, the deadline for submission of papers for the February 2016 Annual Meeting will have passed. Section Program Chair Gregg Dwyer has noted that the line-up of submissions for the Psychiatry & Behavioral Science Section looks promising with a cross section of topics and a mix of empirical study results, practical guidance, case law, and reviews of the literature. Proposals address such topics as management of sexual offending behavior, paraphilias and internet activity, Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity (NGRI) and homicide, genetics and brain structure as they relate to criminal behavior, therapeutic approaches, online bullying, criminal competency, neurobiology, psychopathy, sex trafficking, workplace violence, suicide, and others. Submissions are for posters, oral presentations, and workshops with authors from Canada, the United States, and several European countries. We look forward to sorting through the submissions to prepare a line-up of thought-provoking material to improve and inform our practices and challenge our perspectives in furthering the science of our field.

In Section news, AAFS past president and forensic psychiatry pioneer Richard Rosner authored a book review of the Second Edition of Gunn and Taylor’s Forensic Psychiatry: Clinical, Legal, and Ethical Issues. The book review was published in a current issue of the British journal Criminal Behaviour and Mental Health. A summary of the review follows:

The book addresses psychiatric and legal issues primarily in the United Kingdom and takes a broader approach to forensic psychiatry than usually addressed in U.S. forums. In addition to addressing legal issues, care of mentally disordered offenders, and risk management, the editors also view topics regarding victimization, abuse, and the prevention of victimization, to be part of the goals of the field. As such, some unique topics are presented, such as the elderly offender, addictions, crimes of “passion,” intellectual disabilities, and neurobiology.

Dr. Rosner recommended the work as “a welcome alternative” to the narrow focus inherent in forensic psychiatry in the U.S., and a “much needed corrective” to our ethnocentric view (my term, not Dr. Rosner’s) of psychiatric practice.

In other section news, Janise Nekoranec (Member) has expanded her psychology practice, Nekoranec Psychology, to serve on the Criminal Law Panel for the Superior Court of Orange County, CA. She conducts forensic evaluations and expert testimony for competency and criminal responsibility. In addition, she started a consulting business, ThinkNekron, with her husband, Dr. Wendell Nekoranec.

AAFS member and forensic psychiatry pioneer Robert Sadoff has published a new book which was released by Oxford University Press, titled The Evolution of Forensic Psychiatry: History, Current Developments, Future Directions. A number of members of AAFS, including Richard Rosner, have contributed to this work which includes the history of the development of fellowships in forensic science.

Section Chair Karen Rosenbaum presented on the Ethics of Physician Participation in Capital Punishment as part of a panel on the Death Penalty on July 15 for the International Academy of Mental Health and Law held in Vienna, Austria. John Young attended the conference and her talk.

Be sure to explore the AAFS News Feed which will replace the Academy News that is presently available in electronic format. The News Feed can be accessed at http://news.aafs.org/ and is an impressive resource, including up-to-date events of relevance to the forensic community, information on each section, job postings, and course information.

We continue to welcome the submission of news items for the News Feed and this column from our members. Please submit these items to Dean De Crisce, Section Secretary, at decrisce.md@gmail.com. As always, if you are aware of colleagues or trainees who may be interested in our organization or in participating in our conferences, please encourage them to join.