Howard Zonana and the Transformation of Forensic Psychiatry
Journal of American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law, Vol. 38, 2011
12 Pages Posted: 22 Feb 2011 Last revised: 9 Mar 2011
Date Written: March 2011
In recognition of Howard Zonana' contributions, I take stock of progress of your field over three decades. You are the voice of psychiatry in the law, and interpreter of law to your colleagues in psychiatry. I offer provisional impressions of your collective accomplishments under three themes – expertise, influence and integrity. First, you have established and nurtured the expertise and authority of forensic psychiatry, which has become increasingly evidence-based and reflects a prudent sense of humility. Second, you have had a significant influence on the design and daily application of mental health law in both criminal and civil spheres. Through AAPL and relevant components of the APA, you have been a strong and effective advocate for protecting both the needs and rights of people with mental illness, and have had demonstrable influence in the Supreme Court as well as at the grassroots. Finally, you have nurtured and protected the ethical integrity of the profession in the face of ever-increasing challenges, due in no small measure to the habits of ethical reflection that Howard Zonana has modeled and taught over the course of his extraordinary career.
Keywords: Forensic psychiatry, mental health law, history
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