Robert Kinscherff
Robert Kinscherff
Senior Fellow in Law and Applied Neuroscience
2015 - 2017

Senior Fellow in Law and Applied Neuroscience

  • Petrie-Flom Center, Harvard Law School, 23 Everett St., Room 326
    Cambridge, MA
  • 617-496-4138
  • Profile Page

Robert Kinscherff, PhD, JD, is the second Senior Fellow in Law and Neuroscience at the Project on Law and Applied Neuroscience, a collaboration between the Center for Law, Brain & Behavior at Massachusetts General Hospital and the Petrie-Flom Center. Dr. Kinscherff is a forensic and clinical psychologist and an attorney who has been on the faculty at William James College since 1999, where he is Associate Vice President for Community Engagement with oversight of key clinical service-providing programs. He is also Teaching Faculty in the Doctoral Clinical Psychology Program and for the Doctoral School Psychology Program at William James College, Faculty at the Center for Law, Brain and Behavior, and Senior Associate for the National Center for Mental Health and Juvenile Justice. He is a member of the Massachusetts legislative Special Commission on Sexual Offender Recidivism and designee member for the Administrative Office of the Juvenile Court for the legislative Committee to Develop an Evaluation Process in Cases of Homicide by Juveniles. Kinscherff has previously served as Assistant Commissioner for Forensic Mental Health (MA Department of Mental Health), Director of Juvenile Court Clinic Services (MA Trial Court), and Director of Adult Forensic Services (Psychiatry and Law Program, MGH). For over a decade, he taught classes at the intersection of law and psychology at Boston University Law School. For the American Psychological Association, he is a current member of the Board of Professional Affairs, and has served as Chair of the APA Gun Violence Policy Review Task Force, a past two-term Chair of the Ethics Committee (EC), Chair of the Committee on Legal Issues (COLI) and Member of the Committee on Professional Practices and Standards (COPPS). His research and professional practice areas include legal, ethical, and professional practice issues in clinical and forensic mental health practice, violence risk assessment and management, juvenile homicide, aggressive and sexually problematic behaviors among youth and adults with developmental or mental disorders, and severe and unusual forms of child maltreatment. His many publications include the co-authored book APA Ethics Code: Commentary and Case Illustrations (Washington, DC: American Psychological Association Press, 2009) and more recent publications on topics including mental health practice in juvenile justice contexts, special ethical and practice considerations in work with juvenile and violent offenders, and international human rights law implications for forensic psychologists of the 2012 US Supreme Court case of Miller v. Alabama regarding mandatory life imprisonment without possibility of parole for offenses committed as a juvenile.