Forensic psychiatry is a highly specialized field with a focus on the intersection of psychiatric issues and law. Consultation, evaluation, report writing and/or testimony are completed by the psychiatric expert for legal purposes in civil or criminal arenas.

Dr. Vinson completed a forensic psychiatry fellowship at Emory University, where she developed skills in the performance and documentation of forensic psychiatric evaluations. She is nationally board certified in Forensic Psychiatry. While completing her training at Emory, she gained familiarity with pertinent federal and state case law. Additionally, she received instruction and gained experience in providing legal testimony.  She now teaches forensic psychiatry through her faculty appointments at Morehouse School of Medicine and Emory School of Medicine.

With her background in child & adolescent psychiatry, Dr. Vinson is not only able to perform evaluations of children & adolescents, but she can also take a more thorough developmental approach in her evaluations of adults. She has been admitted as an expert witness in adult psychiatry, child psychiatry and forensic interviewing of children and has testified in civil, family and criminal courts. She has served as a consultation to prosecuting, defense, family law, civil and political asylum attorneys and has experience at both the state and federal levels.

Consultation and evaluation may be related to topics such as competency to stand trial, criminal responsibility/insanity defense, mitigation, diminished capacity, malingering, competency to waive Miranda, and evaluations of adolescents being tried as adults.  Dr. Vinson has experience working as the Medical Director of the Emory University/Fulton County Jail Competency Restoration Program and as a Grady psychiatric physician on an Assertive Community Treatment team that served many patients with legal histories. She currently works at the Department of Juvenile Justice. Dr. Vinson also has expertise in performing psychosexual evaluations of adolescents accused of sexual offenses. She has completed training and passed a certification exam in order to be an approved administrator and interpreter of the Abel Assessment for Sexual Interest-2 for Boys and Girls ages 12-17, which allows her to incorporate the findings of this objective measure of sexual interest in her consultation work and forensic reports. She has also provided consultation regarding child witness credibility and child forensic interviews and has been retained by both the prosecution and the defense for such cases. In this work, her clinical expertise was augmented by her completion of Interview Training by the nationally recognized leader, Cornerhouse.

Civil evaluations may be related to topics such as malpractice, medicolegal issues in correctional psychiatry, disability evaluations, independent medical examinations for discrimination or sexual harassments claims, psychiatric malpractice, political asylum cases, child custody, and parental fitness.

For forensic psychiatry referrals, email me@DrSarahVinson.com or call 404-249-0520 ext. 1.