Center for Mental Health, Policy, and the Law (CMHPL)

The Center for Mental Health, Policy, and the Law (CMHPL) fosters integrative scholarship to advance empirical knowledge, training, and practice in forensic mental health. The CMHPL’s mission is to address the most urgent issues arising at the interface of mental health and the law, in order to help justice-involved people with mental illness lead full and productive lives.

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.

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