Controlling Violence by People with Mental Illness Topic of April 16 Lecture at UNH
Media Contact:  Lori Wright
UNH Media Relations
April 15, 2009

DURHAM, N.H. – The University of New Hampshire presents the annual Robert I. Watson Lecture “Danger and Disorder: Controlling Violence by People with Mental Illness” Thursday, April 16, 2009.

Dr. John Monahan, John S. Shannon Distinguished Professor of Law, professor of psychology, and professor of psychiatric medicine and neurobehavioral sciences at the University of Virginia School of Law, will present the lecture. The event is sponsored by the UNH Department of Psychology and UNH Justice Studies Program, and is free and open to the public.

The lecture will be held from 3:40 p.m. to 5 p.m. in the Memorial Union Building, Theatre II. A reception will follow.

A presumed link between mental disorder and violence has been the driving force behind mental health law and policy for centuries and currently drives much of the debate on requiring adherence to psychiatric treatment in the community.

Legislatures, courts, and the public have come to expect that mental health professionals will protect them from violent acts by persons with a mental disorder. Yet for decades research has shown that clinicians’ unaided assessments of dangerousness are barely better than chance.

Recent research supported by the MacArthur Foundation challenges preconceptions about the frequency and nature of violence among persons with mental disorders, and suggests new approaches to forecasting its occurrence. Ongoing research explores the relationship between violence and mandated community treatment.

The University of New Hampshire, founded in 1866, is a world-class public research university with the feel of a New England liberal arts college. A land, sea and space-grant university, UNH is the state's flagship public institution, enrolling 11,800 undergraduate and 2,400 graduate students.


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