Howard V. Zonana MD

Professor of Psychiatry and Professor (Adjunct) of Law


When Howard Zonana, MD, first became interested in forensic psychiatry, there was little connection between law and psychiatry in the City of New Haven, the State of Connecticut, or the Yale campus. In the mid-1970's, Dr. Zonana joined up with Marc Rubenstein and Lansing Crane, who were trying to create a forensic psychiatry program. They created the Yale Law and Psychiatry Division.

The Division is part of the Yale School of Medicine Psychiatry Department and Connecticut Mental Health Center. It is made up of four sections – forensic services, the New Haven Court Clinic, the Jail Diversion Program and research and scholarship. The staff includes licensed psychiatrists, psychologists, nurses and social workers as well as a training program in Forensic Psychiatry with funding for four fellows chosen annually through a competitive selection process. The work focuses on evaluations for the courts in civil and criminal matters, e.g. competency, criminal responsibility, pre-sentence evaluations, psychic harm.

Dr. Zonana also chaired the YNHH Bioethics Committee for over 15 years and remains a member of the Committee. He also has an Adjunct Appt at Yale Law School and consults to Clinics there, such as the Immigration, Veterans, and Criminal Clinics where law students under supervision, represent clients. He also works with the American Psychiatric Assn. on the Council of Psychiatry and the Law and Judicial Action Committee.

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