Definition and scope | Forensic psychiatric evaluation
Forensic psychiatry is defined
as "a subspecialty of psychiatry in which scientific and
clinical expertise is applied to legal issues in legal contexts
embracing civil, criminal, correctional or legislative matters" (American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law 1989/1991, p.
x). The subspecialty of forensic psychiatry is burgeoning. The past
decade has witnessed enormous growth in interest in this specialty
as demonstrated by the proliferation of journals devoted exclusively
to forensic psychiatry, the development of forensic psychiatry fellowships,
and the establishment of board certification. The American Board
of Medical Specialties has recognized forensic psychiatry as a subspecialty
of psychiatry. The American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology has
conducted examinations for certification in the subspecialty of
forensic psychiatry since 1994. In the United States, the majority
of forensic psychiatric services are performed by general psychiatrists
who are not board certified in forensic psychiatry (Simon 2004).