Center for Mental Health, Policy, and the Law

Our Center is devoted to research, education, and clinically-based services at the interfaces of psychiatry, psychology, public policy, and the law. Our mission is to provide a comprehensive approach to the broad array of issues affecting justice-involved people with mental illness and criminal and civil legal matters related to mental health delivery.


Main Challenge

One in two Americans with serious mental illness (SMI) will be arrested in their lifetime. Individuals with SMI are three times more likely to be treated in a jail, state hospital, or other forensic setting than within the broader mental health system. This is one example of the complex association between behavioral health and the legal system. The Center for Mental Health, Policy, and the Law (CMHPL) fosters interdisciplinary and integrative scholarship to advance empirical knowledge, training, and practice in forensic mental health.

Our Approach

  • Offer empirically-supported assessment and intervention practices for justice-involved individuals with mental illness.
  • Enhance law and policy by educating policy makers on mental health, behavioral, and psycholegal issues, and assisting courts in making informed decisions by providing evaluation and consultation services.
  • Train and educate the next generation of scholars, practitioners and others in forensic mental health.

Susan E. Reynolds
cmhpl@uw.edu