Robert Kinscherff, PhD, JD
- Associate Vice President for Community Engagement
- Professor, Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology
- Member, Threat Assessment and Management Team, WJC
- Member, Curriculum Review Committee, Clinical Doctoral Program
- Member, Academic Leadership Group
- Faculty, Doctoral Clinical Concentration in Forensic Psychology
- Faculty, Doctoral Clinical Concentration in Children and Families of Adversity and Resilience
- BA, Political Science, Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, University of California (Berkeley)
- MA, Philosophy, University of Chicago (1980)
- PhD, Clinical Psychology, City University of New York (1988)
- JD, Law, Harvard Law School (1992) Magna cum Laude
- Child and Family Forensic Mental Health
- Law and Mental Health
- Social Ecology of Children’s Behavioral Health
- Certificate in Juvenile Justice and Mental Health
- Orientation in Professional Ethics for First Year Clinical Doctoral Students
Research and Practice Interests
- Child, Adolescent and Family Forensic Psychology
- Adult Forensic Psychology
- Risk Assessment and Management of Violence and Sexually Abusive Behavior
- Risk Assessment and Management for Mentally Disordered Youth and Adult Offenders
- Neurodevelopment in Children and Adolescents: Implications for Law and Public Policy
- Community Violence: Public Health and Behavioral Science Approaches
- Developmental and Neurodevelopmental Impact in Children: Risks and Resiliencies
- Ethics and Law in Professional Practice
Professional Licenses and Certifications
- Psychology License and Certification as Health Services Provider
- Admitted to Massachusetts Bar (Attorney)
- Designated Forensic Professional
- Designated Forensic Mental Health Supervisor
- Certified Juvenile Court Clinician, Levels I and II
- Certified Juvenile Court Clinician Mentor
- License in Psychology
- License in Psychology
- Fellow, American Psychological Association
- Honorary Professor, Universidad Autonoma Del Estado de Hidalgo, Mexico
- Richard W. Barnum, M.D. Distinguished Service Award, Administrative Office of the Juvenile Court, MA Trial Court, and Division of Forensic Mental Health, MA Department of Mental Health
- Dr. Stephen Hayes Award for Community Mental Health Service, Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology
- Karl Heiser Presidential Award for Advocacy, American Psychological Association (Division 31)
- Clinical Partners Award (with Chief Justice Martha P. Grace), Massachusetts Juvenile Firesetting Coalition
Publications and Presentations
Linda Campbell, Melba Vasquez, Stephen Behnke, Robert Kinscherff. APA Ethics Code: Commentary and Case Illustrations. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association Press, 2010.
Chapters In Books Since 2006
Lahaie M & Kinscherff, RT (2016, in editorial review). Juveniles and the Law. Book chapter in volume edited by R Schouten. Oxford University Press
Kinscherff, RT. Distinguishing and Assessing Amenability to Treatment and Rehabilitation with Juvenile Offenders. K Heilbrun , D DeMattieo, N Goldstein (Eds.), APA Handbook of Psychology and Juvenile Justice. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association Press, 2015.
Larson K, Kinscherff RT. Ethical and Professional Practice Issues in Work with Violent Offenders. In CA Pietz & CA Mattson (Eds.) Violent Offenders: Understanding and Assessment. Oxford University Press. 2014
Kinscherff RT and Latham C. Informed Consent or Assent for Assessment , Treatment and Releases of Information. DS Bromberg & WT O’Donohue (Eds.), Toolkit for Working with Sexual Offenders. Elsevier Press. 2014.
Kinscherff RT. “The Siren Song of Silence: Ensuring a Basis for Professional Judgments.” In WB Johnson and GP Koocher (Eds.), Ethical Conundrums, Quandaries, and Predicaments in Mental Health Practice.” New York: Oxford University Press, 2011.
Latham C and Kinscherff RT. “Legal and Ethical Considerations in Evaluations of Children with Sexual Behavior Problems.” In RE Longo and DS Prescott (Eds.), Current Perspectives: Working with Sexually Aggressive Youth and Youth with Sexual Behavior Problems (Chapter 8). NEARI Press, 2006.
Kinscherff RT. “Forensic Assessment of Amenability to Rehabilitation in Juvenile Delinquency.” In GP Koocher and SN Sparta (Eds.), Forensic Assessment of Children and Adolescents. New York: Oxford University Press, 2006.
Medoff D and Kinscherff RT. “Forensic Evaluation of Juvenile Sexual Offenders.” In GP Koocher and SN Sparta (Eds.), Forensic Assessment of Children and Adolescents. New York: Oxford University Press, 2006).
Original Reports, Articles and Monographs Since 2008
Kinscherff, RT (2015). Policy and Practice Position Statement on the Shackling of Youth Involved with the Juvenile Justice System. National Center for Mental Health and Juvenile Justice. Delmar, NY.
Kinscherff, RT & Cocozza, JJ (May 2014). Developing Effective Policies for Addressing the Needs of Court-Involved Youth with Co-occurring Disorders. Advancing Juvenile Drug Treatment Courts: Policy and Program Briefs. National Center for Mental Health and Juvenile Justice/National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges.
Gun Violence Policy Review Task Force of the American Psychological Association (R. Kinscherff, Chair). Resolution on Firearm Violence Research and Prevention. Adopted by the APA, February 2014.
Kinscherff RT, Guerra NG, Williamson AA (2013). Antecedents to Gun Violence: Developmental Issues. In APA Panel of Experts Report, Gun Violence: Prevention, Prediction and Policy. Washington, D.C.: American Psychological Association Press.
Kinscherff RT, Evans AC, Randazzo MR, & Cornell, D. (2013) What Works: Gun Violence Prediction and Prevention at the Individual Level. In APA Panel of Experts Report, Gun Violence: Prevention, Prediction and Policy. Washington, D.C.: American Psychological Association Press.
Sparta SN and Kinscherff RT (2013). The Assessment of Childhood Trauma. The Register Report (National Register of Health Service Psychologists). Fall 2013, (19): 10-17.
Larson K, DiCataldo F, Kinscherff RT (2013) Miller v. Jackson: Implications for the Intersection of Social Science and Law. Journal of Criminal and Civil Confinement, 39 NE J Crim & Civ Con 319.
Kinscherff RT and Grisso T (2013): Human Rights Violations and Standard 1.02: Intersections with Human Rights Law and Applications in Juvenile Capital Cases, Ethics & Behavior, 23:1, 71-76
Kinscherff RT and Latham C. (2012). Developmental Psychopathology—A Conceptual Framework for Understanding Inappropriate Sexual Behavior Problems in Children and Adolescents. NEARI Press, New England Adolescent Research Institute (NEARI).
Kinscherff R (2012). A Primer for Mental Health Practitioners Working With Youth Involved in the Juvenile Justice System. Washington, DC: Technical Assistance Partnership for Child and Family Mental Health. Invited paper for National Center for Mental Health and Juvenile Justice (NCMHJJ) and SAMHSA and released through American Research Institutes (AIR).
Kinscherff R (2010) “Proposition: A Personality Disorder May Nullify Responsibility for a Criminal Act.” Symposium: Conundrums and Controversies in Mental Health and Illness (Eds. MC Epright and RM Sade). Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics 38:4 (Winter 2010), pp. 745-759.
Vincent G and Kinscherff RT (2008) “The Use of Psychopathy in Violence Risk Assessment of Adolescent Females,” Journal of Forensic Psychology Practice, Vol. 8(3), 309-320.
Recent Presentations (2015-2016)
08.05.16 “Duty to Protect? Balancing Social Justice with the Limitations of Research Findings.” Presenter and discussion moderator. American Psychological Association annual conference. Denver, CO.
08.05.16 “Intimate Partners and Firearms: Violence Prevention through Policy and Advocacy.” Panel participant. American Psychological Association annual conference. Denver, CO
08.04.16 “Advances in Addressing Violence: Assessment, Attachment and Treatment.” Day-long workshop with Dr. Lisa Firestone in the APA Presidential Human Rights Series, American Psychological Association annual conference. Denver, CO.
08.03.16. “Law and Ethics for the Practicing Psychologist.” Day-long preconference workshop for American Psychological Association Continuing Education programs. Denver, CO.
06.15.16 “Neurodevelopment in a Social World: Adolescent Crime, Punishment and Effective Policy and Practice.” Co-Presenting with Vincent Schiraldi. Office of the District Attorney of Suffolk County. Boston, MA.
06.03.16 “What Juvenile Courts Need to Know About Providing Effective Services to Youth with Co-Occurring Disorders.” Annual conference of the National Association of Drug Court Professionals. Anaheim, CA.
06.01.16 “Competence to Stand Trial and Criminal Responsibility in Juvenile Cases.” Youth at Risk Conference, Beverly, MA.
05.27.16 “Professional Ethics and Mental Health Practice: Version.2016” Day-long training on ethics and professional practice. Vermont Trauma Institute. Burlington, VT.
05.10.16 “Should We Ever Sentence Juveniles As Adults?” Youth debate followed by discussant panel (Harris, Carey, Kinscherff). Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice, Harvard Law School. Cambridge, MA
04.20.16 “Problematic Sexual Behaviors and Sexual Offenses in Children and Adolescents.” Professional staff and psychiatry residents training series. McLean Hospital, Harvard Medical School. Belmont, MA.
04.15.16 “Boundaries in Mental Health Practice.” Half-day training sponsored by NorthEast Health Services. Taunton, MA.
04.14.16 “The Development and Use of the MASOC Child and Adolescent Assessment Protocol (M-CAAP). Co-presenter on half-day workshop on development and use of assessment tool for problematic sexual behaviors and juvenile sexual offenders. MASOC/MATSA Annual Conference. Marlboro, MA
04.13.16 “Boys to Men to Boys: What is the Role of Psychology and Neuroscience in the post-Miller and Montgomery Era?” Presentation jointly sponsored by Harvard Law School (Petrie Flom Center) and Massachusetts General Hospital (Center for Law, Brain and Behavior). Cambridge, MA.
04.08.16 “Ethical and Legal Updates for School Psychologists.” CE program for school psychologists, William James College. Newton, MA.
03.28.16 “Implications of Adolescent Neurodevelopment for Juvenile and Criminal Justice.” NeuroEthics, Graduate Program in Bioethics, Harvard Medical School. Boston, MA.
03.17.16 “Ethics in Child and Adolescent Sexual Offender Assessment, Intervention, and Management.” Videotaped day-long training in Master Series, Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers. Newton, MA.
02.04.16 “Adolescent Brain Development: Implications for Neurons, Neighborhoods, Public Policy and Practice.” Commonwealth Senior Leadership Series (senior leadership of MA state child-serving agencies), MA Governor’s Juvenile Justice Advisory Committee. Worcester, MA.
02.03.16 “Violence Risk Assessment with Youth and Young Adults.” Grand Rounds. Cambridge Health Alliance. Cambridge Hospital. Cambridge, MA
02.01.16 and 04.04.16. “Youth with Co-Occurring Mental Disorders and Substance Use Disorders.” Judicial training conference. Supreme Court, Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts. Lombard, IL
12.05.15 “Advances in Addressing Violence: Assessment, Attachment and Treatment.” With Lisa Firestone, Ph.D. Day-long training for professionals. William James College. Newton, MA
12.03.15 “Juvenile Drug Treatment Courts: Lessons Learned.” Statewide conference on specialized drug courts. Tennessee Association of Drug Court Professionals. Murfreesboro, TN
11.03.2015 “Trauma and Traumatization of Child-Serving Systems.” Professional development for personnel of the Department of Children and Families. Bridgewater State University. Bridgewater, MA
10.28.15 “Violence Risk Assessment in Youth” and “Operational Threat Assessment for Schools.” Workshops for Alberta Conference on Mental Health in Schools. Calgary, Canada
10.21.15 “Competence to Stand Trial and Criminal Responsibility.” Co-presenter with Attorney J. Califano in criminal law class of Professor Nancy King. Harvard Law School. Cambridge, MA
10.15.15 “Development of the M-CAAP” Co-presenter on the development and content of a risk assessment protocol for case planning for youth with problematic or sexually aggressive behaviors in placement with the MA Department of Children and Families. Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers. Montreal, Canada
09.28.15 “From Troubled Teens to Tsarnaev: Promises and Perils of Adolescent Neuroscience and Law.” Panel presenter at symposium jointly sponsored by Harvard Law School (Petrie-Flom Center) and Massachusetts General Hospital (Center for Law, Brain and Behavior) Cambridge, MA
09.24.15 “What is the Hoffman Report? What Does it Say?” Panel presenter for symposium on the “Hoffman Report” regarding American Psychological Association and the investigative report about its relationship to use of torture by national security and military authorities post-9/11. William James College, Newton, MA
08.5-9.15 “Law and Ethics for the Practicing Psychologist” day-long preconference workshop; Symposium: “What is Psychology’s Role in Firearm Violence Research and Prevention?;” Symposium: “Interactive Panel Discussion on Ethical Challenges in Child and Adolescent Psychology;” Symposium: “Mental Health, Violence, and Policy Realities and Recommendations.” Annual conference of the American Psychological Association. Toronto, Canada.
06.19.15 “Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained: Managing Therapeutic Risk When Serving Persons with High-Risk Behaviors.” Office of Continuing Education, American Psychological Association. Washington, DC.
06.15.15 “Meeting the Mental Health Needs of Justice-Involved Youth with Mental Health Disorders.” Co-presenting with North Dakota state Representative Diane Larson. National Council of State Legislators, Charleston, SC.
05.11.15 “Clinical, Forensic and Ethical Issues in Conceptualizing and Assessing Violence.” Workshop for Juvenile Court Clinician Conference, MA Department of Mental Health and Administrative Office of the Juvenile Court Department, Worcester, MA.
04.24.15 “Legal Implications of Adolescent Brain Development.” Appellate Division, Children’s Public Defenders and New York Trial Court. Albany, NY.
04.16.15 “Ethical and Legal Issues in Trauma Work.” Staff training at The Trauma Center, Justice Resource Institute, Brookline, MA.
04.09.15 “Fifty Shades of Grey: Approaches to Assessment and Risk Management of Persons with Severe Mental Illness, Sexual Offending, and Antisocial Personality.” Workshop co-presented with Kerry Nelligan, Psy.D. for annual conference of MATSA/MASOC, Marlborough, MA
04.08.15 “The MC-APP: Development of a Structured Professional Judgment Tool for Assessment of Problematic Sexual Behaviors Among Children and Adolescents.” Co-presenting with M-CAPP Working Group Members, full-day workshop for annual conference of MATSA/MASOC, Marlborough, MA
03.20.15 “Clinical, Forensic and Ethical Issues in Violence Risk Assessment and Management.” Invited half-day workshop for Professional Development Training Institute, American Psychological Association. Washington, DC
03.12.15 “Juvenile Justice and the Adolescent Brain: Is Healthy Neurodevelopment a Civil Right?” Moderator and presenter for symposium of MGH Center for Law, Brain and Behavior, Harvard Medical School, Boston MA.
03.10.15 “Through a Glass, Darkly: Intersections of Psychology, Law and Public Policy.” Criminal Justice Student’s Group. Newbury College, Brookline MA
03.07.15 “Mind, Body and Addiction in Life and Law.” Presentation and panel for New England Law Students Mental Health Symposium, Harvard Law School. Cambridge, MA
03.06.15 “Confronting Violence In Professional Practice.” Day-long training for Rhode Island Psychological Association. Warwick, RI
01.22.15 “Violence Risk Assessment and Management: Best Practices and Implications for Psychiatric Inpatient Units. Solomon Carter Fuller Mental Health Center (MA Department of Mental Health). Boston, MA
Winter 2015 “Juvenile Justice and Mental Health.” Blended learning professional development Certificate Program, Certificate Program in Child and Family Forensic Psychology. William James College.
Current Professional Leadership and/or Concurrent Work Experience
- Senior Fellow in Law and Neuroscience, Harvard Law School & Massachusetts General Hospital
- Science Faculty, Center for Law, Brain and Behavior, Massachusetts General Hospital
- Fellow, American Psychological Association (APA)
- Member and Executive Committee, Board of Professional Affairs (APA)
- Senior Associate, National Center for Mental Health and Juvenile Justice
- Friend of the Board, Massachusetts Adolescent Sexual Offender Coalition
- Juvenile Drug Court Advisory Board, National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges
Prior Professional Leadership and/or Work Experience
- Director of Forensic Studies, William James College
Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology:
- Co-Director, Concentration in Forensic Psychology
- Founder and first Director, Concentration in Forensic Psychology
- Founder and first Director, Concentration on Children and Families of Adversity and Resilience
Prior Work Experience:
- Assistant Commissioner for Forensic Mental Health, MA Department of Mental Health
- Clinical Director, Easter Seals of New Hampshire
- Director of Juvenile Court Clinic Services, MA Trial Court
- Forensic Examiner, Massachusetts Parole Board
- Instructor in Law, Law and Psychiatry, Boston University Law School
- Associate Director and Director of Forensic Training, Law and Psychiatry Service, MGH
- Associate Director, Camille Cosby Center, Judge Baker Children’s Center, Harvard Medical School
- Invited Participant, White House Summit on Community Violence, Obama Administration
- Co-Author, Amicus Brief to US Supreme Court in Roper v. Simmons (juvenile execution), APA
- Invited Briefing to MA Supreme Judicial Court on Adolescent Brain Development
- Invited Training to Connecticut Board on Pardons and Paroles on Adolescent Brain Development
- Invited Trainings to MA Parole Board on Risk Assessment, Adolescent Brain Development
- Trainer, Risk Assessment in Juvenile Court, Judiciary, Kingdom of Morocco, US State Department
- Trainer, US Federal Court and Judiciary of Pacific Nations, Guam
- Consultant, CT Department of Children and Families, Reform of Juvenile Training School Program
- Member, Massachusetts Governor’s Juvenile Justice Advisory Committee
- Commissioner, MA Special Commission on Sexual Offense Recidivism
- Chair, Gun Violence Policy Review Task Force, American Psychological Association
- Designee of Chief Justice, MA Special Commission on Evaluations in Juvenile Homicide Cases
- Member, New Hampshire Chief Justice’s Criminal Justice/Mental Health Leadership Commission
- Member, Section Council, Child Welfare and Delinquency, Massachusetts Bar Association
- American Psychological Association, Member, Fellow, and Divisions 12, 41
- Massachusetts Psychological Association
- Massachusetts Bar Association
- New Hampshire Psychological Association (Affiliate Member)
- International Association of Forensic Mental Health Services
- Emancipation Project (NGO on protection of commercially sexually trafficked persons)
- Pro bono evaluations for parole evaluations of inmates without counsel and/or funds
- Pro bono complex case consultations for hospitals, providers, state agencies
- Pro bono legal consultations for hospitals, providers, state agencies
- Pro bono training and workshops to behavioral health providers, judges, lawyers, others
- Volunteer Faculty, WJC Cultural Immersion Program to Vallue, Haiti (2016)