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About Forensic Psychiatry

UPMC Western Psychiatric Hospital has a long history of expertise in the fields of forensic psychiatry and psychology. In 1974, Western Psychiatric’s academic partner, the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, founded the Law and Psychiatry Program to serve as a catalyst for interdisciplinary research and practice in the area of law and mental health.

The Law and Psychiatry Program was founded in 1974 by Loren Roth, MD, MPH, and Alan Meisel, JD. During its early years, it provided consultation to units at Western Psychiatric as well as spawned research about patients' rights and the responsibilities of treating professionals. Over the years, the program has been committed to providing clear analyses and empirical information to guide the difficult task of providing treatment within the framework of systems responsible for social control.

The Law and Psychiatry Program serves as the academic home for noted professionals from several disciplines and has a reputation for innovative, large scale research on law and mental health topics. Psychiatrists, Paul Appelbaum and Jeffrey Geller, spent some of the formative years of their careers in this program, as did sociologists Charles Lidz and Edward Gondolf, and psychologists Edward Mulvey, William Gardner, and Elizabeth Cauffman. The program has maintained a commitment to performing sound research at the cutting edge of current issues in the field.

In the 1970's and 1980's, faculty in the program published conceptualizations and research on informed consent and other issues of ethics (laying the groundwork for the development of the Center for Medical Ethics at UPMC). In the 1980's and through the present, faculty and staff at the program have pursued an influential line of research on the prediction of violence in mental patients. Recent research has focused on the provision of services to juvenile offenders, particularly mentally ill offenders, and the developmental aspects of antisocial behavior.

Emerging from this pedigree of excellence, UPMC Western Psychiatric Hospital's Forensic Psychiatry Services continues the tradition of commitment and innovation. Our goals are excellence in clinical practice, scholarship, and education. To that end, our forensic psychiatry services provide clinical services across the continuum of forensic psychiatry. We collaborate closely with the Law and Psychiatry program and support the Fellowship in Forensic Psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh as the primary teaching and training faculty.

Contact Us

If you have questions about our services or if you would like to arrange a consultation with one of our experts, call toll-free 1-888-401-3131.


For an emergency, please call 412-624-1000
or toll-free 1-877-624-4100.

For more information or to make a referral to Services for Teens at Risk (STAR-Center), please contact us at 412-246-5619; open weekdays 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Crisis support services for residents in Allegheny County, call resolve Crisis Services at 1-888-7-YOU CAN or 1-888-796-8226.

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