McLean’s Jacob Holzer, MD, Wins Award for Work in Geriatric Forensic Psychiatry

December 10, 2018

McLean Hospital’s Jacob C. Holzer, MD, has been named a corecipient of the Manfred S. Guttmacher Award for 2019. A joint award presented by the American Psychiatric Association (APA) and the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law (AAPL), the Guttmacher award has been presented each year since 1975 to recognize published works or professional presentations that contribute to the field of forensic psychiatry. The honor is named for Manfred S. Guttmacher, a pioneer in the study of the relationship between psychiatry and the law.

Holzer, a clinical staff associate in McLean’s Geriatric Psychiatry Outpatient Services and an instructor in psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, said he was “honored and pleasantly shocked” to win the award. He explained that the honor was presented to acknowledge the contributions made by the book Geriatric Forensic Psychiatry. Co-edited by Holzer and Drs. Robert Kohn, James Ellison, and Patricia Recupero, the textbook is the first of its kind to focus exclusively on geriatric forensic psychiatry. “There are numerous books and articles that look at forensic psychiatry and geriatric psychiatry,” Holzer said. “But this is first that examines in detail the overlapping areas between forensics and geriatrics and attempts to address aspects of both fields.”

Jacob C. Holzer, MD
Jacob C. Holzer, MD

“Forensic psychiatry looks at the common areas between criminal law, civil law, regulatory issues, corrections, public safety, and risk management, and geriatric forensic psychiatry examines these issues as they apply to the elderly,” explained Holzer. With our growing aging population and increased focus on mental health, said Holzer, geriatric forensic psychiatry “is a field that has been generating increased interest in psychiatric and legal circles in recent years.” He said that the book has been “very well received,” and he expressed his hope that it will encourage “greater understanding and new research” in the field of geriatric forensic psychiatry.

Holzer and his colleagues will receive their award at an APA meeting in San Francisco, where they will also give a presentation on geriatric forensic psychiatry. The group will also present at a meeting of AAPL next October.

Going forward, Holzer plans to continue his work in geriatric forensic psychiatry, but also continue work in several other clinical and academic forensic psychiatry areas. One specific area concerns the relationship of forensic mental health and national security. Working with his Geriatric Forensic Psychiatry co-editor Patricia Recupero and colleagues in national security, Holzer plans to publish a book on forensic psychiatry examining lone-actor terrorism. The book will be published through Oxford University Press.

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