Division Chair: Dr. Najat Khalifa
Administrative Support: Susan Beck
The Division of Forensic and Correctional Psychiatry, Queen's University, is an academic and clinical division devoted to providing clinical services, teaching, and research at the intersection of mental health and the law.
We strive to be a leader in providing evidence-based care for forensic clients, high quality teaching, and innovative research and program development.
To provide specialized multidisciplinary forensic mental health services for adults with mental illness who have come into contact with the criminal justice system, and increase the capacity to provide these services through research, teaching, and work with community partners.
Forensic Community Service (FOCUS) Program
The FOCUS Program is a multi-disciplinary forensic program that provides community mental health services for mentally ill offenders who have had or currently have contact with the criminal justice system and who are residing in the community. We provide outpatient assessments, follow-up intervention and psychological services predominantly for individuals with severe mental illness who are at risk of criminal behaviour. Our service acts in partnership with local probation and court diversion services as well as receiving referrals internally through the Forensic Division.
Inpatient Forensic Services
Inpatient Forensic Services is a 30-bed unit located at Providence Care Hospital. The unit accepts patients from all over Ontario almost exclusively through either judicial order (Judge's Order) or via a decision of the Ontario Review Board (ORB). The unit provides services to both men and women who have come into conflict with the criminal justice system. Patients admitted on a Judge's Order (Section 672 of the Canadian Criminal Code), are shorter-stay patients, typically admitted for 30-day inpatient psychiatric asssessments. These assessments serve to provide recommendations to the court concerning the legal issues of Fitness to Stand Trial and/or Criminal Responsibility related to pending criminal charges. Judicial orders may also be for psychiatric treatment, for patients who have been found unfit to stand trial. The unit typically provides services to 5-8 patients under Judge's Order at a given time.
Patients admitted under an ORB detention are longer-stay patients. Treatment and rehabilitation services are provided with the mandate of ensuring public safety within the least onerous and least restrictive conditions, using a Recovery Model of care. Clinical services are provided by a full multidisciplinary team including psychiatry, nursing, social work, psychology, occupational therapy, and recreation therapy. As a teaching hospital, students and residents from various disciplines are also active members of the clinical team. The unit typically provides services to 22-25 patients who are under an ORB detention order.
Outpatient Forensic Services
Patients whose Ontario Review Board disposition allows for community living are provided ongoing clinical services and supervision in the community. These services are provided both in the home and community and through appointments in hospital. Outpatient Forensic Services are provided primarily by a psychiatric nurse and/or social worker and all patients are followed by a psychiatrist. The outpatient team also includes a Frontenac Community Mental Health Services Transitional Case Manager. Outpatients may also receive psychological intervention services on an as-needed basis. As with Inpatient Services, the mandate of Outpatient Services is to ensure the safety of the public with the least onerous and least restrictive approach. Forensic Outpatients are empowered to develop the necessary skills needed to be productive members of society, following a Recovery Model of Care.
Correctional Psychiatry Services
Faculty with the Department of Psychiatry, Forensic Division also have ties with the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC), and with provincial correctional and detention facilities (e.g. Quinte Detention Centre). In addition, the division has links with the Family Law Clinic. Residents completing rotations with the Forensic Division have the opportunity to gain additional experience with these other services.
There are opportunities to visit Corrections Canada and be supervised in psychiatric assessments and management of patients there. There are also opportunities to do clinics under supervision at the Family Law clinics.
The Forensic Division actively utilizes telepsychiatry in its operations. Mentally ill offenders awaiting trial at Quinte Detention Centre are assessed via video conference and triaged as to whether they require an inpatient forensic admission for further assessment and/or treatment. We also use tele-psychiatry to provide outpatient psychiatric services to the Metis Nation of Ontario.
Current Research and Program Development/Evaluation
a. Grading Risk of Inpatient Threat (GRIT)
GRIT is an assessment, communication, and risk management system for the imminent (within 24 hours) risk of inpatient violence. It has been designed for use on the Forensic Services Inpatient Unit at Providence Care, based on current research on imminent risk for violence, practices at other forensic facilities, and current legislative requirements. GRIT will shortly be pilot tested on Forensic Services; an adapted version of the GRIT system will later be implemented on other inpatient units at Providence Care Mental Health Services. The GRIT system will be formally evaluated for effectiveness in reduction of inpatient violence. In addition, data from the project may be combined with data from similar implementations at other forensic sites, as part of a larger scale multi-site research project.
Project Lead/Primary Investigator: Dr. Rebecca Douglas
Collaborators: Kim Knight, RN; Dr. Tariq Hassan
b. SAFEWARDS implemented on forensic units to improve inpatient safety
The Safewards Model outlines ‘originating domains’ that can give rise to certain ‘flashpoints’ that can trigger an incident or ‘conflict’. Conflict is defined as any action or behaviour that can threaten the safety of a patient and those around them. Another main component of Safewards is ‘containment’—actions that staff must take in order to eliminate or reduce conflict.
Originating domains are those six broad aspects that affect a patient’s well-being: patient community, patient characteristics, the regulatory framework, the staff team, the physical environment, and factors outside of the hospital (i.e., visitors). The flashpoints are social situations or behaviours or ways of thinking arising from those originating domains that can trigger a conflict.
Dr. Tariq Hassan MBBS, FRCPsych, FRCPC Psychiatry, FRCPC Forensic Psychiatry
Associate Professor in Forensic Psychiatry
Queen’s University Department of Psychiatry
c/o Providence Care Hospital
752 King Street West, Kingston, ON, Canada. K7L4X3
Dr. Tariq Hassan, MBBS, FRCPsych, FRCPC, joined the Department of psychiatry at Queen’s in 2010 and is an associate professor specializing in forensic psychiatry at Queen's University. He holds distinguished memberships, including Member-at-Large for the Clinical Teachers' Association of Queen's (CTAQ) and membership on the Executive Committee of the Department of Psychiatry. Dr. Hassan has made significant contributions to his field, having previously held the position of President of the Medical Staff Association at Providence Care and Chair of the Forensic Directors Group for Ontario.
With a rich history of leadership and expertise, Dr. Hassan has served as Division Chair and Clinical Director for Forensic Psychiatry and is recognized as the visionary behind the establishment of the National Forensic Collaboration – Canada. Furthermore, he is the founder of the Queen's accredited Certification Course in Forensic Mental Health in Pakistan, and the mock psychiatry RCPSC OSCE preparatory 'The Kingston Course'.
Dr. Hassan remains deeply committed to advancing the realms of clinical and academic services within the domains of Forensic Psychiatry, particularly within Corrections Canada and Community Forensic Psychiatry. His dedication extends to his role as an esteemed editorial board member of the British Journal of Psychiatry International, where he contributes his insights and expertise to the field's ongoing growth and development.
View Dr. Tariq Hassan’s publication in Google Scholar
Dr. Abdulmohsen Alhumoud
MD, MJ (Health Law), FRCPC
Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry | Queen’s University School of Medicine
Providence Care Hospital
752 King Street West | Kingston, ON | K7L 4X3
Dr. Al-Humoud joined the Psychiatry Department at Queen’s University as a forensic psychiatrist in January 2023.
Dr. Al-Humoud is a Clinical and Academic Adult and Forensic Psychiatrist. He is the previous Head of the Forensic Mental Health Services at the Kuwait Center for Mental Health (KCMH), the only forensic and correction psychiatry service in Kuwait.
He is the Founder and Medical Director of EuCan Center for Psychiatric and Psychological Services, one of the only few private mental health centres in Kuwait.
Dr. Al-Humoud is the former President of the Kuwait Psychiatric Association (KPA) and the previous Head of the Psychiatry Department at the Kuwait Center for Mental Health (KCMH).
He is a part-time consultant psychiatrist at Cambridge Medical Centre, Dubai, UAE.
He is the founder of the Forensic Mental Health Services at Al-Amal Hospital, Dubai and the previous Lead Forensic Psychiatrist at Maudsley Mental Health, Dubai, part of South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust (SLaM).
He is a lecturer and exam board member at the Kuwait Institute for Medical Specialization (KIMS) and a lecturer at the Kuwait Institute for Judicial and Legal Studies.
He is board certified by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada in both Psychiatry and Forensic Psychiatry. He graduated from the psychiatry and forensic psychiatry residency programs at the University of Toronto. He holds a Master of Jurisprudence in health law from Loyola University Chicago, School of Law. He earned his medical degree from the University College of Dublin, Ireland.
Dr. Al-Humoud was the Chief Psychiatrist working with the Parliament of Kuwait and the Ministry of Health of Kuwait on writing the Kuwait Mental Health Law 2019.
Through his experience in the field of forensic psychiatry and mental health and law, he, collaboratively with the Parliament and the Ministry of Health, promulgated a section about forensic psychiatry in the new Mental Health Law of Kuwait.
As an activist for the rights of the mentally ill and to improve awareness of mental health and forensic psychiatry, Dr. Al-Humoud is passionately involved in conducting workshops and training sessions for mental health professionals and people working in the law field, from judges, public prosecutors, and lawyers. Dr. Al-Humoud has several scientific publications with a special interest in legal mental health and healthcare management.
Dr. Al-Humoud has a special interest in psychotherapy and conducting psychotherapy training for medical students, psychiatry residents, and psychology students. He applies different psychotherapy techniques in his practice, with a special interest in psychodynamic psychotherapy and cognitive behavioural therapy.
In addition to being a mental health advocate, Dr. Al-Humoud occasionally volunteers with humanitarian agencies like Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) (Doctors Without Borders) as a field psychiatrist to manage patients with mental illness and train healthcare professionals in managing mental health disorders.
Dr. Najat Khalifa MD, MBChB, FRCPsych, FRCPC
Queen’s University Department of Psychiatry
c/o Providence Care Hospital
752 King Street West, Postal Bag 603, Kingston, ON K7L7X3
Dr. Khalifa (MD, MBChB, FRCPsych, FRCPC), is Professor and Director of Research at the Queen’s University Department of Psychiatry, Kingston, Ontario, Canada. He is also interim Chair, Division of Forensic and Correctional Psychiatry.
He obtained his Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of Nottingham, United Kingdom (UK). He completed his specialist training in Forensic Psychiatry in the UK. He is a Fellow of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, UK. He is also a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.
His research interests are the use of Non-Invasive Brain Stimulation Techniques to modulate impulsivity, empathy and decision-making; terrorism and mental health; personality disorder and offending behaviour; and outcome measurement in forensic mental health. The main focus of his research has been on understanding the neuropsychological underpinnings of offending behaviour and evaluation of therapeutic interventions for justice-involved individuals.
He has a track record of academic achievements in the field of Forensic Psychiatry with many publications including peer-reviewed papers, books, and book chapters. He has presented many symposia and workshops at national and international conferences. Throughout his academic career, he been actively involved in university and clinical teaching activities, including the supervision of several honours, Masters, and PhD students, and many psychiatry trainees.
View Dr. Najat Khalifa’s publications in Google Scholar
Dr. Andrew Bickle
Queen's University, Department of Psychiatry
Correctional Service Canada
c/o Providence Care Hospital
752 King Street West
Kingston, ON, K7L4X3
Dr Andrew Bickle is an Assistant Professor in Forensic Psychiatry at Queen’s University and an Attending Physician at Correctional Services Canada, having joined from the United Kingdom in 2019. His research interests include non-invasive brain stimulation, correctional healthcare services and mental health law. His clinical interests include ADHD and, in addition, sex offender treatment. He has a committee position with the Canadian ADHD Resource Alliance.
Dr. Rebecca L. Douglas, C.Psych.
Clinical Forensic Psychologist
Forensic Mental Health Services, Providence Care
Assistant Professor & Clinical Supervisor
Departments of Psychiatry & Psychology, Queen's University
752 King Street West
Kingston, ON, K7L 4X3
Honours BA (McGill), PhD (Dalhousie), Residency (Royal Ottawa Health Care Group).
Dr. Douglas is a registered Clinical Forensic Psychologist, who works at Forensic Mental Health Services, Providence Care and is appointed as an Assistant Professor (Adjunct) with the Department of Psychiatry, in the Forensic & Correctional Psychiatry Division. Dr. Douglas’ primary clinical interests are in the areas of specialized forensic assessment and intervention for patients with complex presenting problems. Her research interests include psychopathology and offending, subtypes of violence, and imminent risk for violence. Dr. Douglas is currently leading a project on the development and implementation of an assessment, communication, and risk management approach for imminent inpatient aggression. Psychiatry Residents and Clinical Clerks may gain exposure to violence risk assessment, feigning assessment, and cognitive behavioural approaches to intervention under the supervision of Dr. Douglas. Dr. Douglas also supervises trainees from the PhD Program in Clinical Psychology at Queen’s and as part of registration with the College of Psychologists.
Dr. James Hillen BA, BPHE, MD, MSc, FRCSC, FRCPC
Department of Psychiatry, Queen’s University
752 King Street West, Kingston, ON K7L 4X3
Dr. Jim Hillen joined the Queen’s University Department of Psychiatry as a Fellow in Forensic and Correctional Psychiatry under Drs. S. Hucker and B. Jones in 1996, and has remained a department member since 1997. Graduating from McMaster University Medical School, he trained at the University of Toronto, Western, McMaster and Queen’s Universities. He is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada in both Surgery (Obstetrics and Gynecology) and Medicine (Psychiatry), with post-graduate fellowships in The Psychotherapies and in Forensic and Correctional Psychiatry. His particular interests in forensic Psychiatry and, specifically, correctional Psychiatry (abnormal sexuality and sex offending) flowed from his training in Gynecology (human sexuality and sex therapy).
Following his Fellowship in Forensic and Correctional Psychiatry, Dr. Hillen worked with the Forensic and Correctional Assessment and Rehabilitation Services at Providence Care Hospital (1997-2005). He returned to the PCH service in May 2021 after serving as Psychiatric Director of the Acute Admissions Service at the Regional Treatment Centre (Ontario), a 96 bed in-patient Schedule One psychiatric hospital operated by the Correctional Service of Canada (2005-2021).
Most of his clinical and academic study and practice has involved working with persons involved in the criminal justice systems in forensic hospitals and correctional settings. The pathologies are complex and multi-factorial and include primary psychotic, mood, and anxiety disorders compounded by developmental disabilities, attention and cognitive disorders, substance use disorders, personality disorders, and brain injuries acquired through physical and toxic trauma. He has also served general adult and difficult-to-house outpatient psychiatric populations, rural family health teams, adult eating disorders services, and individuals and couples in psychodynamic psychotherapy.
Dr. Hillen has extensive experience in supervising trainees and graduates at all levels of undergraduate, residency (Psychiatry, Family Medicine, Public Health), and post-graduate training in in-patient and out-patient settings. He served as Undergraduate Training Director at Kingston Psychiatric Hospital and on the Queen’s Postgraduate Training Committee for a number of years. He currently supervises psychiatry residents in psychodynamic psychotherapy training.