Forensic Psychiatry

Mission Statement

The mission of the Division of Forensic Psychiatry is to contribute to the field of forensic psychiatry through excellence in education, practice, and research. We work collaboratively with colleagues in the justice system, and general psychiatrists to increase understanding of the intersection of our fields and help improve outcomes. We provide high-quality forensic psychiatry evaluations to assist finders-of-fact deciding complicated legal issues.

Services

We offer in-depth forensic psychiatric evaluations in the criminal and civil law arenas. We evaluate criminal responsibility (sanity), competency to stand trial, other criminal competencies, mitigation of penalty, suicide and violence risk assessment, malingering, fitness for duty, disability, emotional damages, testamentary capacity, and malpractice.  As a group, we have particular expertise in each of these areas, as well as special expertise in cases of child murder by parent and detection of malingering. Referrals are by attorneys, courts, hospitals, schools, employers, insurance companies, licensing/ regulatory boards and organizations, but not by individuals who wish to be evaluated themselves. Contact forensicpsychiatry@case.edu.

Teaching

A central goal of our service is to increase the expertise of future healthcare providers in the field of forensic psychiatry.  We provide teaching for trainees across disciplines. This includes the Forensic Psychiatry Fellowship program, electives for psychiatry residents and medical students, and the Psychiatry and the Law course at Case Western Reserve University School of Law. 

Research

Understanding the intersection of mental health and the law is a central goal of our program. Our individual research interests include: mental illness and violence, homicide, women and violence, social justice, and teaching methods in forensic psychiatry.

Selected Publications

  • Resnick, P.J. (1969). Child Murder by Parents: A Psychiatric Review of Filicide. American Journal of Psychiatry, 126, 325-334.
  • Resnick, P.J. (1970). Murder of the Newborn: A Psychiatric Review of Neonaticide. American Journal of Psychiatry, 126, 1414-1420.
  • Freedman, R., Ross, R., Michels, R., Appelbaum, P., Siever, L., Binder, R., Carpenter, W., Friedman, S.H., Resnick, P., & Rosenbaum, J. (2007). Psychiatrists, Mental Illness, and Violence. American Journal of Psychiatry, 164, 1315-1317.
  • Friedman, S.H., & Resnick, P.J. (2007). Child Murder by Mothers. World Psychiatry, 6, 137-141. 
  • McCarthy-Jones, S., & Resnick, P.J. (2014). Listening to Voices: The Use of Phenomenology to Differentiate Malingered from Genuine Auditory Verbal Hallucinations. International Journal of Law and Psychiatry, 37, 183-189.
  • Friedman, S.H., & Hall, R.C.W. (2015). Teaching Psychopathology in a Galaxy Far, Far Away: The Light Side of the Force. Academic Psychiatry, 39, 719-725.  
  • Kenedi, C., Friedman, S.H., Watson, D., & Preitner, C. (2016). Suicide and Murder-Suicide Involving Aircraft. Aerospace Medicine and Human Performance, 87, 388-396.  
  • Friedman, S.H., & McEwan, M.V. (2018). Treated Mental Illness and the Risk of Child Abuse Perpetration. Psychiatric Services, 69, 211-216.  
  • Friedman, S.H. & the Group for Advancement of Psychiatry (Eds). (2018). Family Murder: Pathologies of Love and Hate. American Psychiatric Association Publishing.

Our Team

Susan Hatters Friedman, MD

Director, Division of Forensic Psychiatry
The Phillip J. Resnick Professor of Forensic Psychiatry
Adjunct Professor of Law & Associate Professor of Pediatrics

Dr. Friedman is a forensic and perinatal psychiatrist. She has practiced in forensic hospitals, general hospitals, court clinics, community mental health centers, and correctional facilities. She has worked both in America and overseas in New Zealand. Dr. Friedman has served as vice-President of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law (AAPL), and as Chair of the Law and Psychiatry committee at the Group for Advancement of Psychiatry (GAP). She has received the AAPL award for the Best Teacher in a Forensic Psychiatry Fellowship, the Red AAPL award for outstanding service to organized forensic psychiatry, and the Association of Women Psychiatrists’ Marian Butterfield early career psychiatrist award for her contributions to women’s mental health. She has published more than 100 articles (including in World Psychiatry and the American Journal of Psychiatry) as well as book chapters. Her research has primarily focused on the interface of women’s mental health and forensic psychiatry, including notably child murder by mothers. Dr. Friedman is the incoming Deputy Editor of the Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law.

Stephen G. Noffsinger, MD

Director, Forensic Psychiatry Fellowship
Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine
Adjunct Professor of Law, Case Western Reserve University School of Law 

Dr. Noffsinger is a board certified psychiatrist and forensic psychiatrist who has been practicing forensic psychiatry for more than 25 years. He has authored more than 40 peer-reviewed professional articles and five book chapters on various topics in forensic psychiatry, and testified as an expert in psychiatry in more than 175 cases. Dr. Noffsinger graduated from Northeast Ohio Medical University, completed his residency in Adult Psychiatry at Cleveland’s MetroHealth Medical Center, and his Forensic Psychiatry Fellowship at University Hospitals of Cleveland.  His past appointments include Medical Director, Psychiatric Emergency Services at St. Vincent Charity Medical Center (Cleveland) and Chief of Forensic Services at Northcoast Behavioral Healthcare. Dr. Noffsinger has been awarded the Best Teacher in a Forensic Psychiatry Fellowship Award by the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law, and the John R. Quine Outstanding Adjunct Professor by the University of Akron School of Law where he also serves as Adjunct Professor of Law.  Currently, Dr. Noffsinger serves as the Director of the Forensic Psychiatry Fellowship and is a psychiatrist for the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas.

Phillip J. Resnick, MD

Curriculum Vitae

Fellowship Training in Forensic Psychiatry

Please click here for information on fellowship training in Forensic Psychiatry.