The formal didactic program includes:
- An ongoing weekly interprofessional seminar series covering the major topics in forensic psychiatry and review of AAPL Landmark cases. This series addresses legal and clinical aspects of forensic psychiatry including criminal, civil, administrative, and correctional topics. This course is organized by the Director of the program and includes invited experts from the legal and medical community. It is integrated with the forensic psychology fellowship in the Colorado Office of Behavioral Health.
- Quarterly journal club that includes forensic psychiatrists and forensic psychologists from the community and former graduates of the Fellowship.
- Required participation in the annual Review Course that precedes the national AAPL meeting each fall.
- Required attendance at the annual national meeting of the Am Academy of Psychiatry and Law.
- Required visit with the associate director of the program at a correctional site involved in litigation within the U.S.
- Participation with the University of Colorado at Denver Dept. of Psychiatry continuing education Grand Rounds.
Experience in the psychiatric evaluation and treatment of inmates in the Colorado Department of Corrections and Denver County Jails. This experience includes intake evaluations and ongoing treatment. Fellows participate in telepsychiatry clinics through the Colorado DOC mental health programs. The treatment of psychiatric patients in forensic facilities (security hospitals and correctional facilities) presents unique problems from which basic psychiatric training does not prepare a resident. These include:
- Providing treatment in a non-clinical system – in secure or correctional facilities, the focus is often upon security and management while providing effective treatment for the patient’s benefit. Clinicians are thus subjected to pressures and situations not encountered in private practice or in usual civil settings.
- Treating patients populations not generally encountered in general psychiatric practice- Patients with severe personality disorders (particularly antisocial personality), paraphilias, and impulse control disorders are common in forensic populations, and present unique diagnostic and treatment problems. Recognition of malingering and development of effective management plans will be a focus of attention during service assignments.
- Fellows participate in evaluation of mental health services provided in correctional systems by accompanying faculty who serve as consultants in class action litigation directed at state and country correctional systems.
- Fellows learn about particular legal and clinical issues of utilizing involuntary medication in jail settings.
- Fellows have a rotation on a jail-based restoration to competency unit.
- Fellows with Child/Adolescent training have opportunities in Youth Correction Rotations.
Efforts are made to accommodate Fellows' special interests. Opportunities exist for some focused elective time.
Travel funds are provided for Fellows to attend the annual scientific meeting of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law in October. At those meetings they will take the 3-day annual Forensic Psychiatry Review Course. Fellows are also supported in the mandatory travel with the Associate Director to an out of state prison or jail site. Funds for books, other travel, and in state transportation are available. Each Fellow is provided a private office, computer, and other support technology through the Forensic Clinic at Denver Health Medical Center.
Arrangements can be made for fellows with special interest in adolescent/corrections issues, refugee and asylum cases, and rotations with neuropsychiatric experts. Those interested in administrative and legislative activities can work with various faculty involved in these areas. 9