Centre intégré universitaire de santé et de services sociaux de l’Ouest-de-l’Île-de-Montréal
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Anne Crocker, PhD

Researcher, Douglas Institute
Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry, McGill University

Areas of expertise
Forensic psychiatry, violence, criminality, severe mental illness, mental retardation, mental health-law and policy, criminal responsibility, fitness to stand trial, mental health services

Anne Crocker, PhD,  joined the Douglas Institute Research Centre in 2002, after a two-year post-doctoral fellowship at Dartmouth Medical School, New Hampshire. Her work focuses on the interface between mental health and the law. Although most individuals who have a severe mental illness or an intellectual disability do not engage in violent behavior, evidence has been accumulating over the past 20 years, indicating that some of these individuals are at increased risk for criminal and violent behavior. However, many individual, cultural and systemic factors influence the nature and intensity of this relationship.

Anne Crocker’s research program focuses on two main areas of forensic mental health:

  • The identification of psychosocial factors associated with violence and criminality among vulnerable populations, such as individuals with a severe mental illness and individuals with an intellectual disability. She and her team are presently investigating the factors associated with violent behavior among individuals with an intellectual disability, who are living in the community. This three-year multi-site study is funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and the Fonds québécois de la recherche sur la société et la culture (FQRSC).
  • The interface between the criminal justice and mental health systems (e.g. fitness to stand trial, criminal responsibility and mental health services research).

Anne Crocker presently works on these research projects: 

  • National trajectory project: Individuals declared not criminally responsible on account of mental disorder (pdf)
  • Study of the implementation of Montreal’s mental health court (pilot project) (pdf)
  • Individuals declared not criminally responsible on account of mental disorder: Dispositions, resources and service trajectories (pdf)
  • Intellectual disability in forensic mental health: from identification to services integration (pdf)
  • Implementing and using a systematic risk assessment scheme to increase patients’ safety on a risk management unit for individuals with severe mental illness (pdf) - Report (pdf)
  • Severe mental illness and crime: An analysis of dispositions for individuals declared not criminally responsible on account of mental disorder (pdf)
  • Factors associated with violence among persons with an intellectual disability living in the community (pdf)

This research program aims at furthering our knowledge regarding:

  • The determinants of violent and criminal behavior among individuals with a severe mental illness or with an intellectual disability and
  • The trajectories of these individuals in the criminal justice and mental health systems. This research will help better understand the nature and consequence of violent and criminal behavior among vulnerable populations, develop appropriate assessment methods and tools, and identify intervention priorities and orient policy making.
Contact information
Douglas Institute
Perry Pavilion
Room E-4112
6875, boulevard LaSalle
Montreal (Quebec)
H4H 1R3
Phone :
514 761-6131
ext.: 3361

Fax :
514 762-3049
Research division :
  • - Psychosociale
Research groups :
Awards and distinctions :
  • - Heinz Lehmann Award
[ view more awards ]
Mental illness and the law: a 2008 lecture by Anne Crocker (in French)