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Law and Psychiatry Program


The Law and Psychiatry Program is an interdisciplinary collaboration of UMass Chan Medical School faculty devoted to clinical services, research, policy, training and technical assistance, at the interfaces of the behavioral sciences, psychiatry, psychology, and the law. Begun in 1985 by Paul S. Appelbaum, M.D., who served as the first Director of the program, the Program has grown and expanded in scope over the past four decades. Thomas Grisso, Ph.D. served as Director from 2006-2014, and Ira Packer, Ph.D., ABPP served as a Co-Director from 2014-2021. Both continue to contribute to the Program as Professor Emeritus. Currently, the program is co-directed by Natalie Anumba, Ph.D., ABPP, and Gina Vincent, Ph.D.  Dr. Anumba works with the directors of the forensic psychology fellowship and clinical services components, and Dr. Vincent maintains primary responsibility for the research components.

The Law and Psychiatry Program's primary training mission is to provide high-quality post-graduate preparation for service as forensic psychiatrists (directed by Paul Noroian, MD and Margarita Abi Zeid Daou, MD) and forensic psychologists (directed by Ashley Murray, PhD) in the public sector on criminal and civil matters. Program faculty also have organized and led trainings for the public-sector forensic mental health workforce of Massachusetts. Recently we have expanded our training program to include a Legal Externship with a focus on mental health law and civil commitment proceedings for law students (directed by Danielle Rynczak, JD, PsyD). Historically, Research in the Program (directed by Gina Vincent, PhD) has sought to address a variety of questions that arise in the law concerning behavioral health, adolescent development, and ways to assess human capacities and characteristics that are important for justice-related decisions. More recently, to be responsive to the needs of justice settings, our research program has evolved into a focus on implementation science and implementing risk assessment and evidence-based practices across justice settings nationally. The Program's faculty provide clinical forensic services at the Worcester Recovery Center and Hospital (DMH) and Vibra Hospital of Western Massachusetts, as well as consultation to private psychiatric hospitals, outpatient clinics, justice agencies, and attorneys (directed by Andrea Dinsmore, PsyD).

The Massachusetts Center of Excellence (CoE) for Specialty Courts, an initiative of the Massachusetts Executive Office of the Trial Court, aims to bring innovative, evidence-based, and equitable interventions to Specialty Courts and related settings. UMass Chan operates the CoE under the leadership of Dara Drawbridge, PhD and Brian Daly, MD. CoE initiatives are undertaken in three divisions:

  • Implementation & Translation Division—Drives adoption, implementation, and sustainment of interventions by building system capacity - Co-Directors: Dara Drawbridge, PhD & Brian Daly, MD
  • Equity Division Director—Advances equity and reduces disparities in Specialty Courts by attempting to mitigate structural barriers and improve access - Ayorkor Gaba, PsyD
  • Research, Evaluation & Policy Division Co-Directors—Advances scientific knowledge of interventions at the intersection of behavioral health and the criminal-legal system -Meaghan Dupuis, MA, LMHC & Michael Kane, MA

More information about the CoE can be found at

  Natalie Anumba, PhD, ABPP
Program Co-Director
Director, Forensic Psychology Residency
    Gina Vincent, PhD
Program Co-Director
Director, Translational Law & Psychiatry Research