Monahan Wins APA's Guttmacher Award

The American Psychiatric Association has selected
professor John Monahan as the winner of its Manfred S. Guttmacher
Award for 2001. The prize recognizes Monahan's book Rethinking
Risk Assessment: The MacArthur Study of Mental Disorder and Violence,
published last year by Oxford University Press, as the year's
most outstanding contribution to the literature on forensic psychiatry.

The book tells the story of a pioneering investigation that challenges preconceptions about the frequency and nature of violence among persons with mental disorders and suggests an innovative approach to predicting its occurrence. Until now, the ability of psychiatrists and psychologists to predict who among those suffering from mental illness might become violent is barely better than chance. The authors of this massive project—the largest ever undertaken on the topic—demonstrate how clinicians can use a "decision tree" to identify groups of patients at very low and very high risk for violence. This dramatic new finding could change the way clinicians, judges, and others who must deal with persons who are mentally ill and may be violent will do their work.

Monahan, a clinical psychologist, is the Henry L. and Grace Doherty Charitable Foundation Professor of Law. He has been a Guggenheim Fellow, a Fellow at Harvard Law School and at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, and a visiting fellow at All Souls College, Oxford. Monahan won the Guttmacher Award in 1982 for his book The Clinical Prediction of Violent Behavior. He also has won the APA's Isaac Ray Award, been elected to membership in the Institute of Medicine, and serves on the National Research Council's Committee on Law and Justice. He directed the MacArthur Foundation's Research Network on Mental Health and the Law from 1988 to 1998, and now directs the Foundation's Initiative on Mandated Community Treatment. Monahan's work has been cited frequently by courts, including the California Supreme Court in Tarasoff v. Regents and the United States Supreme Court in Barefoot v. Estelle.

Receiving the award with Monahan are co-authors Henry Steadman, Eric Silver, Paul Appelbaum, Pamela Robbins, Edward Mulvey, Loren Roth, Thomas Grisso, and Steven Banks. The award will be presented at the APA convention in Philadelphia in May.

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