Forensic Psychiatry

The UT Southwestern Forensic Psychiatry Fellowship is a one-year, full-time ACGME-accredited program that provides comprehensive academic and practical experiences in civil, criminal, correctional and consultative Forensic Psychiatry that develop the skills necessary to ethically and effectively interface with the legal system.

About the Program

Fellows gain experience in court-ordered forensic evaluations; examination and treatment of criminal offenders in jail and outpatient settings; dangerousness assessments; civil assessments for involuntary mental health treatment and treatment over objection; and mental health diversion court clinics. This program provides extensive opportunity for consultation with attorneys and courts, courtroom testimony, and interaction with private practitioners in the community.

The rotations of the fellowship include an inpatient corrections unit, a court clinic, a forensic state hospital, an outpatient forensic psychiatric clinic, psychiatric consultation services in a general hospital, and forensic private practice rotations.


Forensic Core Curriculum

This year-round lecture series covers all the core topics in the theory and practice of forensic psychiatry. The didactic sessions focus on topics including: history of forensic psychiatry; roles and responsibilities of forensic psychiatrists; assessing criminal competence and responsibility; testamentary capacity; civil competencies; assessment of dangerousness, assessment of sexual misconduct; corrections psychiatry; legal regulation of psychiatric practice; writing of a forensic report; juvenile justice systems.

Landmark Cases Class

This is a 90 minute weekly class focused on landmark cases in Mental Health Law.

Research and Scholarship Seminar

In this session fellows develop skills to review medical and legal literature in forensic psychiatry, explore the theoretical and practical foundations of mental health law, cultural, societal, and ethical influences on both legal and psychiatric applications, and contribute to literature in forensic psychiatry.

Legal Digest Seminar

In this session fellows familiarize themselves with new legal opinions from state and federal courts where mental health/illness is a primary issue.


Dallas County Jail Health System

Fellows carry out suicide risk assessments using evidence-based evaluation tools and make treatment recommendations. The fellows carry out competence to stand trial evaluations, write competence to stand trial reports, and give expert testimony on cases that proceed to court. Fellows participate in dangerousness assessments and make recommendations for management of individuals with dangerous behaviors. Fellows participate in the assessment of individuals in the Sex Offenses Management Program. Fellows review police and crime scene reports pertaining to cases. They observe any cases that go to trial at the Dallas County court. Fellows rotate through the Dallas County District Attorney and Public Defender’s office to gain exposure to the preparation of cases for court.

This rotation also offers fellows consultation and testimony experience within the juvenile justice system. Fellows interface with probation officers, judges, psychologists, and medical staff serving a youth population, allowing the fellows to learn the special perspectives and concerns of these other professionals. Additional experience assisting and educating child/adolescent psychiatrists performing forensic evaluations is available.

Terrell State Hospital

Terrell State Hospital a forensic state hospital. Fellows carry out competency to stand trial evaluations on individuals found not competent to stand trial at the inpatient competency restoration unit. Fellows participate in the competency restoration processes and write forensic reports. Fellows receive one-to-one supervision on the roles and responsibilities of a forensic psychiatrist. Fellows observe manifest dangerousness review board meetings.

Dallas Metrocare Special Needs Offender Program

The Special Needs Offender Program (SNOP) is a community outpatient forensic psychiatric service. Fellows carry a number of outpatient clinical cases and, under the supervision of Dr. Kehinde Obikoya, provide psychotherapy and medication management to individuals with mental health issues who are on probation or parole for various offenses. Fellows participate in and observe hearings in various diversion courts in the Dallas County courts. Fellows participate in Assertive Outreach teams in the community management of patients managed by the SNOP services.

Parkland Memorial Hospital

Fellows carry out dangerousness evaluations and evaluations for civil commitment for patients at the Parkland Hospital inpatient service. Fellows give expert testimony at the Dallas County Mental Illness court. Fellows participate in the Pharmacy and Therapeutics meetings of the hospital where fellows observe administrative issues in the running of a county hospital. They carry out a quality improvement project and submit a written report to the Program Director by the end of the rotation. Fellows attend Ethics Committee meetings at Parkland Hospital and are supervised during the experience.


Kehinde Obikoya, M.D.
Assistant Clinical Professor
Medical Director, Metrocare Special Needs Offender Program
Program Director, Forensic Psychiatry Fellowship

Mitchell Dunn, M.D.
Clinical Professor
Medical Director, Forensic Program, Terrell State Hospital

Kenneth Dekleva, M.D.
Associate Professor
McKenzie Foundation Chair in Psychiatry I

John Sadler, M.D.
Professor of Psychiatry
Director of Research Ethics, Center for Translational Medicine

Mark Blotcky, M.D.
Clinical Professor
General Psychiatry Residency
Child and Adolescent Residency
Forensic Psychiatry Fellowship

John Zervopoulos, Ph.D., J.D.

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