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.
Forensic mental health contacts among homeless mentally ill individuals.
International Journal of Forensic Mental Health
Predictors of criminal justice system trajectories of homeless adults living with mental illness.
Roy L, Crocker AG, Nicholls TL, Latimer E, Isaak CA
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
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
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
The perceived impact of trauma-focused research with forensic psychiatric patients with lifetime victimization histories
Journal of Empirical Research on Human Research Ethics
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Criminal behavior and victimization among homeless individuals with severe mental illness: a systematic review.
Roy L, Crocker AG, Nicholls TL, Latimer EA, Ayllon AR
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
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
Towards a national agenda on mental health and criminal justice
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
Using dynamic risk and protective factors to predict inpatient aggression: reliability and validity of START assessments.
Desmarais SL, Nicholls TL, Wilson CM, Brink J
Risk assessment instruments in clinical practice.
Côté G, Crocker AG, Nicholls TL, Seto MC
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
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
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
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
Resilience and successful community reintegration among female forensic psychiatric patients: a preliminary investigation.
Viljoen S, Nicholls T, Greaves C, Ruiter C, Brink J
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
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
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
Domestic violence and child custody Family court professionals' knowledge and beliefs
Journal of Aggression, Conflict and Peace Research
Mentally ill individuals in limbo: obstacles and opportunities for providing psychiatric services to corrections inmates with mental illness.
Olley MC, Nicholls TL, Brink J
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
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
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
Women inmates' mental health needsEvidence of the validity of the Jail Screening Assessment Tool (JSAT)
International Journal of Forensic Mental Health Services
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