Independent Qualified Examiner/Community Access Board (IQE/CAB) Program
IQE/CAB provides expertise in forensic and sexual risk assessment.
The IQE/CAB program at William James College (WJC) is operated under an agreement with Wellpath Inc., and the Massachusetts Department of Corrections (DOC). This program is jointly staffed by WJC and Independent Contractors (licensed psychologists or psychiatrists) under the organization, supervision, and collaboration of the Program Director. This program services the entire Commonwealth. In this program, the IQE/CAB members are highly skilled psychologists and psychiatrists who have expertise in forensic assessment and sexual risk assessment. They provide court-ordered evaluations offering expert opinions in writing and testimony on whether a convicted sex offender meets statutory criteria to be designated as a Sexually Dangerous Person (SDP) as defined by MGL Ch. 123a. This program seeks to balance civil liberties and community safety through evaluations utilizing best practices and up-to-date research in the field.
Independent IQE/CAB Members
Those who conduct this work begin initially as candidates for appointment as a IQE/CAB member in Massachusetts. IQE/CAB members are appointed by the Commissioner of Department of Corrections following a review of experience. They can serve as either an Independent QE or a CAB member once appointed by the Commissioner of the DOC. The Independent QE evaluates individuals being referred through the District Attorneys’ respective counties in the Commonwealth (initial review), or from the DOC once a person is civilly committed as a Sexually Dangerous Person (subsequent retention). The CAB member is one of five licensed psychologists or psychiatrists that sit on the Board to vote on annual Sexual Dangerous Person status or community access status for those individuals already committed in secure treatment. To be appointed, IQE/CAB members must be independently licensed psychologists or psychiatrists and have at least three years of experience providing assessment or treatment to individuals with sexual behavior problems and/or sexual offense convictions. Additional training and specialization in the field is recommended upon application but not mandated, as training is provided.
Evaluators who are appointed as IQE/CAB members and choose to be assigned cases have the option of taking cases at their own requested pace. They are independent contractors for William James College under this specific program/contract and are recruited and reviewed on an ongoing basis.
Additional Services Provided
The IQE/CAB member has ongoing opportunities for: training, observation, testimony, collaboration, research, and clinical supervision.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
The IQE/CAB Program has a commitment to welcome and serve our whole community. We offer all people high quality, culturally responsive services while honoring race, religion, national origin, ethnicity, age, sex and fluidity of gender, sexual orientation, disability, socio-economic, immigration, or veteran status. Our staff strives to support and protect all people in an atmosphere that respects differences of all kinds. We believe it is the responsibility of the program's staff, partners, and clients to work toward greater inclusion, multiculturalism, racial justice, and equity.
About the Program Director
Dr. Katrina Colistra has more than 15 years in training and clinical experience in forensic psychology, and more specifically in the field of evaluation and treatment of persons convicted of sexual offenses. She is licensed to practice psychology in Massachusetts and New York. She is a Designated Forensic Psychologist in MA who earned her doctorate in Psychology through William James College (formerly the Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology) in 2007. Dr. Colistra’s training and experience includes forensic evaluations in prison settings as well as within communities. She has been retained by individuals facing charges as well as attorneys and has been appointed by the courts to serve and offer expert opinion on referral questions including but not limited to sexual dangerousness, risk of sexual and violent reoffending, competence to stand trial, mental state at the time of the offense (criminal responsibility), and treatment amenability.
Dr. Colistra has completed evaluations for federal, state, district, town, and family courts, and has testified in numerous cases across both MA and NY. Additionally, she is trained and offers specialized treatment to those in the community who have been accused or convicted of sexual offenses. Dr. Colistra provides training and seminars and provides clinical and administrative supervision for staff, graduate interns and postdoctoral fellows. She works in collaboration with the Independent Contractors under the IQE/CAB program.
Dr. Colistra’s area of expertise and interest includes treatment and evaluation of those convicted of sexual offenses, psychological and psycho-physiological testing of persons convicted of sexual offenses, forensic interviewing utilizing motivational interviewing technique, research on the recidivism of those convicted of sexual offenses and maintaining public safety while considering civil liberties and best practices, sexual and violence risk assessments, competency to stand trial, and criminal responsibility evaluations.
 A review of this law and definitions can be found at malegislature.gov/laws/generallaws/parti/titlexvii/chapter123a