Overview

The intersection of law and mental health is fraught with challenges for individuals living with mental illness, their families, and for criminal justice and mental health professionals, alike. My students and I focus our scholarly work at this important juncture and concentrate our research on projects that have strong bench-to-bedside application. Our study results are intended to have direct relevance and speedy application to shaping practice and policy decisions in civil, forensic, and correctional settings. We have several large-scale programs of research:

Our CIHR-funded PATHWAYS study is documenting and evaluating the Redevelopment of Riverview Hospital;

CIHR is also funding a study of risk assessment and risk management to inform treatment planning and ultimately improve outcomes among former BC Corrections inmates and probationers;

We developed a concise clinical measure for the assessment and management of risk to self and others (Short-Term Assessment of Risk and Treatability, START);

We are also studying success and resiliency among individuals returning to the community following hospitalization and/or incarceration in jails and prison;

I am part of two national teams funded by the Mental Health Commission of Canada.The first project is studying mentally ill individuals who have come into conflict with the law and ultimately have been found 'not criminally responsible on account of mental disorder' in three Canadian provinces: Quebec, Ontario and BC (The National Trajectory Project). The second project is based on a "Housing First" approach. The At Home/Chez Soi Research Demonstration Project is investigating mental health and homelessness in five Canadian cities: Moncton, Montreal, Toronto, Winnipeg and Vancouver.

Publications

Forensic mental health contacts among homeless mentally ill individuals.
International Journal of Forensic Mental Health
2017

Individual, Service, and neighborhood predictors of aggression among mentally disordered persons
Law and Human Behaviour
DOI: 10.1037/lhb0000269
2017

Adverse childhood experiences and the risk of criminal justice involvement and victimization among homeless adults with mental illness
Psychiatric Services
DOI: 10.1176/aapi.ps.201600330
2017

Childhood maltreatment and the risk for criminal justice involvement and victimization among homeless individuals A systematic review
Trauma, Violence & Abuse
DOI: 10.1177/1524838017708783
2017

Predictors of criminal justice system trajectories of homeless adults living with mental illness.
Roy L, Crocker AG, Nicholls TL, Latimer E, Isaak CA
DOI: 10.1016/j.ijlp.2016.05.013
PubMed: 27297073
06/2016

Factors Associated with Review Board Dispositions following Re-hospitalization among Discharged Persons found Not Criminally Responsible.
Wilson CM, Nicholls TL, Charette Y, Seto MC, Crocker AG
DOI: 10.1002/bsl.2220
PubMed: 27041680
03/2016

Housing Trajectories of Forensic Psychiatric Patients.
Salem L, Crocker AG, Charette Y, Earls CM, Nicholls TL, Seto MC
DOI: 10.1002/bsl.2223
PubMed: 27138216
03/2016

Identifying gender specific risk/need areas for male and female juvenile offenders: Factor analyses with the Structured Assessment of Violence Risk in Youth (SAVRY).
Hilterman EL, Bongers I, Nicholls TL, van Nieuwenhuizen C
DOI: 10.1037/lhb0000158
PubMed: 26390056
02/2016

Profiles of criminal justice system involvement of mentally ill homeless adults.
Roy L, Crocker AG, Nicholls TL, Latimer E, Gozdzik A, O'Campo P, Rae J
DOI: 10.1016/j.ijlp.2016.02.013
PubMed: 26922410
2016

Forensic mental health tribunals A qualitative study of participants' experience and views
Psychology, Public Policy, and Law
DOI: 10.1037/law0000084
2016

The perceived impact of trauma-focused research with forensic psychiatric patients with lifetime victimization histories
Journal of Empirical Research on Human Research Ethics
DOI: 10.1177/1556264616670769.
2016

Exploring gender differences in the utility of strength based risk assessment measures
International Journal of Forensic Mental Health
DOI: 10.1080/14999013.2016.1170739
2016

Gender matters An introduction to the double special issue of on women and girls
International Journal of Forensic Mental Health
DOI: 10.1080/14999013.2016.1141439
2016

Research Priorities in Mental Health, Justice, and Safety: A Multidisciplinary Stakeholder Report.
Crocker AG, Nicholls TL, Seto MC, Roy L, Leclair MC, Brink J, Simpson AI, Côté G
DOI: 10.1080/14999013.2015.1073197
PubMed: 26681928
07/2015

Supportive housing and forensic patient outcomes.
Salem L, Crocker AG, Charette Y, Seto MC, Nicholls TL, Côté G
DOI: 10.1037/lhb0000112
PubMed: 25365472
06/2015

The national trajectory project of individuals found not criminally responsible on account of mental disorder. Part 5: how essential are gender-specific forensic psychiatric services?
Nicholls TL, Crocker AG, Seto MC, Wilson CM, Charette Y, Côté G
PubMed: 25886689
03/2015

The national trajectory project of individuals found not criminally responsible on account of mental disorder in Canada. Part 3: trajectories and outcomes through the forensic system.
Crocker AG, Charette Y, Seto MC, Nicholls TL, Côté G, Caulet M
PubMed: 25886687
03/2015

The national trajectory project of individuals found not criminally responsible on account of mental disorder in Canada. Part 4: criminal recidivism.
Charette Y, Crocker AG, Seto MC, Salem L, Nicholls TL, Caulet M
PubMed: 25886688
03/2015

The national trajectory project of individuals found not criminally responsible on account of mental disorder in Canada.
Crocker AG, Nicholls TL, Seto MC, Côté G
PubMed: 25886684
03/2015

The national trajectory project of individuals found not criminally responsible on account of mental disorder in Canada. Part 1: context and methods.
Crocker AG, Nicholls TL, Seto MC, Côté G, Charette Y, Caulet M
PubMed: 25886685
03/2015

The national trajectory project of individuals found not criminally responsible on account of mental disorder in Canada. Part 2: the people behind the label.
Crocker AG, Nicholls TL, Seto MC, Charette Y, Côté G, Caulet M
PubMed: 25886686
03/2015

The use of risk and need factors in forensic mental health decision-making and the role of gender and index offense severity.
Wilson CM, Crocker AG, Nicholls TL, Charette Y, Seto MC
DOI: 10.1002/bsl.2162
PubMed: 25693951
02/2015

Childhood and adolescent characteristics of women with high versus low psychopathy scores Examining the development precursors to the malignant personality disorder
Journal of Criminal Justice
DOI: 10.1016/j.jcrimjus.2015.06.001
2015

La non-responsabilité criminelle pour cause de troubles mentaux (2014): Non criminellement responsable pour cause de troubles mentaux: Vers des pratiques et des politiques informées
Barreau de Quebec
2015

Dynamic and static factors associated with discharge dispositions: the national trajectory project of individuals found not criminally responsible on account of mental disorder (NCRMD) in Canada.
Crocker AG, Nicholls TL, Charette Y, Seto MC
DOI: 10.1002/bsl.2133
PubMed: 25236295
09/2014

Criminal behavior and victimization among homeless individuals with severe mental illness: a systematic review.
Roy L, Crocker AG, Nicholls TL, Latimer EA, Ayllon AR
DOI: 10.1176/appi.ps.201200515
PubMed: 24535245
06/2014

Predictive validity of risk assessments in juvenile offenders: Comparing the SAVRY, PCL:YV, and YLS/CMI with unstructured clinical assessments.
Hilterman EL, Nicholls TL, van Nieuwenhuizen C
DOI: 10.1177/1073191113498113
PubMed: 23921605
06/2014

The validity of Version 3 of the HCR-20 violence risk assessment scheme amongst offenders and civil psychiatric patients
International Journal of Forensic Mental Health
DOI: 10.1080/14999013.2014.911785
2014

Towards a national agenda on mental health and criminal justice
Psnopsis
2014

Predictive validity of dynamic factors: assessing violence risk in forensic psychiatric inpatients.
Wilson CM, Desmarais SL, Nicholls TL, Hart SD, Brink J
DOI: 10.1037/lhb0000025
PubMed: 23815092
12/2013

Redevelopment of tertiary psychiatric services in British Columbia: a prospective study of clinical, social, and residential outcomes of former long-stay inpatients.
Petersen KL, Nicholls TL, Groden D, Schmitz N, Stip E, Goldner EM, Arnold LM, Lesage A
DOI: 10.1016/j.schres.2013.05.022
PubMed: 23815971
09/2013

Personality disorders, types of violence and stress responses in females who perpetuate intimate partner violence
Psychology
DOI: 10.4236/psych.2013.49A1002
2013

Risk assessment in intimate partner violence A review of contemporary approaches
Partner Abuse
DOI: 10.1891/1946-6560.4.1.76
2013

Using dynamic risk and protective factors to predict inpatient aggression: reliability and validity of START assessments.
Desmarais SL, Nicholls TL, Wilson CM, Brink J
DOI: 10.1037/a0026668
PubMed: 22250595
09/2012

Risk assessment instruments in clinical practice.
Côté G, Crocker AG, Nicholls TL, Seto MC
PubMed: 22480589
04/2012

Taking Stock and Taking Steps: The Case for an Adolescent Version of the Short-Assessment of Risk and Treatability.
Viljoen JL, Cruise KR, Nicholls TL, Desmarais SL, Webster C
DOI: 10.1080/14999013.2012.737406
PubMed: 23436982
2012

Prevalence of physical violence in intimate relationships Part I - Rates of male and female victimization
Partner Abuse
DOI: 10.1891/1946-6560.3.2.140
2012

Prevalence of physical violence in intimate relationships Part II - Rates of male and female perpetration
Partner Abuse
DOI: 10.1891/1946-6560.3.2.170
2012

Assessment of Multiple Risk Outcomes, Strengths, and Change with the START:AV: A Short-Term Prospective Study with Adolescent Offenders.
Viljoen JL, Beneteau JL, Gulbransen E, Brodersen E, Desmarais SL, Nicholls TL, Cruise KR
DOI: 10.1080/14999013.2012.737407
PubMed: 23436983
2012

Pilot Implementation and Preliminary Evaluation of START:AV Assessments in Secure Juvenile Correctional Facilities.
Desmarais SL, Sellers BG, Viljoen JL, Cruise KR, Nicholls TL, Dvoskin JA
DOI: 10.1080/14999013.2012.737405
PubMed: 23316116
2012

To detain or to release? Correlates of dispositions for individuals declared not criminally responsible on account of mental disorder.
Crocker AG, Braithwaite E, Côté G, Nicholls TL, Seto MC
PubMed: 21586195
05/2011

Resilience and successful community reintegration among female forensic psychiatric patients: a preliminary investigation.
Viljoen S, Nicholls T, Greaves C, Ruiter C, Brink J
DOI: 10.1002/bsl.1001
PubMed: 21796675
2011

International trends in demand for forensic mental health services
International Journal of Forensic Mental Health
DOI: 10.1080/14999013.2011.625591
2011

The impact of realigning a provincial tertiary hospital system on other institutional sectors
Psychiatric Services
DOI: 10.1176/appi.ps.62.2.200
2011

Protective factors in forensic psychiatry A new frontier
International Journal of Forensic Mental Health
DOI: 10.1080/14999013.2010.534694
2011

Individuals found Not Criminally Responsible on account of Mental DisorderAre we providing equal protection and equivalent access to mental health services to accused mentally ill individuals across Canada?
Canadian Journal of Community Mental Health
DOI: 10.7870/cjcmh-2010-0020
2010

A narrative review of the effectiveness of aggression management training programs for psychiatric hospital staff
Journal of Forensic Nursing
DOI: 10.1111/j.1939-3938.2009.01061.x
2010

Chronic violent patients in an inpatient psychiatric hospital Prevalence, description, and identification
Criminal Justice and Behaviour
DOI: 10.1177/0093854809347738
2010

Forensic psychiatric inpatients and aggression: an exploration of incidence, prevalence, severity, and interventions by gender.
Nicholls TL, Brink J, Greaves C, Lussier P, Verdun-Jones S
DOI: 10.1016/j.ijlp.2008.11.007
PubMed: 19081629
2009

Kausalitätsmodelle zum Zusammenhang zwischen aggressivem Verhalten, Viktimisierung und versuchter Selbsttötung sowie relevante Risikofaktoren aus Sicht forensischer Patienten [Causality models about the association between aggressive behavior, victimization and suicide-related behavior as well as relevant risk factors as perceived by forensic patients]
Monatsschrift für Kriminologie und Strafrechtsreform
2009

Domestic violence and child custody Family court professionals' knowledge and beliefs
Journal of Aggression, Conflict and Peace Research
DOI: 10.1108/17596599200900011
2009

Risk assessment: Are current methods applicable to women
International Journal of Forensic Mental Health
DOI: 10.1080/14999010903014747
2009

Mentally ill individuals in limbo: obstacles and opportunities for providing psychiatric services to corrections inmates with mental illness.
Olley MC, Nicholls TL, Brink J
DOI: 10.1002/bsl.899
PubMed: 19784940
2009

Confidence and accuracy in assessments of short term risks presented by forensic psychiatric patients
Journal of Forensic Psychiatry and Psychology
DOI: 10.1080/14789940903183932
2009

Perceptions of motives in intimate partner violence: expressive versus coercive violence.
Hamel J, Desmarais SL, Nicholls TL
DOI: 10.1891/088667007782312113
PubMed: 18064970
2007

Intimate partner abuse of older men: considerations for the assessment of risk.
Reeves KA, Desmarais SL, Nicholls TL, Douglas KS
DOI: 10.1300/j084v19n01_02
PubMed: 18077267
2007

The Short-Term Assessment of Risk and Treatability (START): a prospective validation study in a forensic psychiatric sample.
Nicholls TL, Brink J, Desmarais SL, Webster CD, Martin ML
DOI: 10.1177/1073191106290559
PubMed: 16880282
09/2006

Short-Term Assessment of Risk and Treatability (START): The case for a new structured professional judgment scheme.
Webster CD, Nicholls TL, Martin ML, Desmarais SL, Brink J
DOI: 10.1002/bsl.737
PubMed: 17171764
2006

Of mice and men: will the intersection of social science and genetics create new approaches for intimate partner violence?
Janssen PA, Nicholls TL, Kumar RA, Stefanakis H, Spidel AL, Simpson EM
PubMed: 15618562
01/2005

Gender and psychopathy: an overview of important issues and introduction to the special issue.
Nicholls TL, Petrila J
DOI: 10.1002/bsl.677
PubMed: 16333811
2005

Female perpetrators of intimate abuse
Journal of Offender Rehabilitation
DOI: 10.1300/J076v41n04_01
2005

The gender paradigm in domestic violence research and theory Part I- The conflict of theory and data
Aggression and Violent behaviour
DOI: 10.1016/j.avb.2005.02.001
2005

Psychopathy in women: a review of its clinical usefulness for assessing risk for aggression and criminality.
Nicholls TL, Ogloff JR, Brink J, Spidel A
DOI: 10.1002/bsl.678
PubMed: 16333808
2005

Women inmates' mental health needsEvidence of the validity of the Jail Screening Assessment Tool (JSAT)
International Journal of Forensic Mental Health Services
DOI: 10.1080/14999013.2004.10471205
2004

Assessing risk for violence among male and female civil psychiatric patients: the HCR-20, PCL:SV, and VSC.
Nicholls TL, Ogloff JR, Douglas KS
DOI: 10.1002/bsl.579
PubMed: 14963884
2004

Abuse committed by women against male inmates
Journal of Couples Therapy
DOI: 10.1300/J036v10n01_04
2001

Assessing risk for violence among psychiatric patients: the HCR-20 violence risk assessment scheme and the Psychopathy Checklist: Screening Version.
Douglas KS, Ogloff JR, Nicholls TL, Grant I
DOI: 10.1037//0022-006x.67.6.917
PubMed: 10596513
12/1999

A clinical risk profile of forensic psychiatric patients Treatment team STARTs in a Canadian service
International Journal of Forensic Mental Health
DOI: 10.1080/14999013.2011.600234

Factors associated with review board dispositions following re-hospitalization among discharged persons found Not Criminally Responsible
Behavioral Sciences and the Law
DOI: 10.1002/bsl.2220.

Violence risk assessment of civil psychiatric patients with the HCR-20Does gender matter?
International Journal of Forensic Mental Health
DOI: 10.1080/14999013.2016.1141438