About AAPL
The Organization

About the Organization

The American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law (AAPL, pronounced "apple") is an organization of psychiatrists dedicated to excellence in practice, teaching, and research in forensic psychiatry. Founded in 1969, AAPL currently has over 2,000 members in North America and around the world.

What is Forensic Psychiatry?

Forensic psychiatry is a medical subspecialty that includes research and clinical practice in the many areas in which psychiatry is applied to legal issues. While some forensic psychiatrists may specialize exclusively in legal issues, almost all psychiatrists may, at some point, have to work within one of the many areas in which the mental health and legal system overlap. AAPL welcomes both the forensic specialist and the general psychiatrist who seeks information and professional support in those domains in which psychiatry an the law share a common boundary. These include:

  • Violence
  • Criminal responsibility
  • Competence, civil and criminal
  • Child custody and visitation
  • Psychic injury
  • Mental disability
  • Malpractice
  • Confidentiality
  • Involuntary treatment
  • Correctional psychiatry
  • Juvenile justice
  • Ethics and human rights

The Goals of AAPL

The American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law promotes scientific and educational activities in forensic psychiatry by:

  • Facilitating the exchange of ideas and practical clinical experience through publications and regularly scheduled national and regional meetings
  • Sponsoring continuing education programs for both forensic and general psychiatrist and other mental health and legal professionals
  • Developing ethical guidelines for forensic psychiatry
  • Stimulating research in forensic psychiatry and providing a forum for the presentation of the results of such research
  • Developing guidelines for education and training in forensic psychiatry for both general psychiatry residents and post-residency fellows
  • Providing information to the public through a speaker's bureau and published literature.