Residents devote approximately 10% of their time to research on a topic or problem in mental health law or forensic clinical psychology. Typically this will be a project developed at the resident's own initiative and supervised by Dr. Grisso or other faculty. Alternatively, it may develop as a derivative of on-going research projects by Program faculty. The Commonwealth's forensic mental health system provides a wide variety of opportunities for data collection, although the time commitments of residents to service and didactic training typically encourage fellows to work on conceptual papers, research reviews, or analyses of existing data bases, rather than the collection of new data.
Current research activities and interests of the UMMS Law-Psychiatry faculty include: evaluating competence to consent to or refuse treatment; violence risk assessment; prevalence of mentally ill individuals in the correctional system; developing quality assurance measures for forensic reports; identification of mental health needs of youths in juvenile justice settings; and juveniles' competence to stand trial.