John P. Petrila J.D.

John P. Petrila

John Petrila, JD, LLM, is Chair and Professor in the Department of Health Policy & Management in the College of Public Health at the University of South Florida in Tampa Florida. He joined USF in 1992 as Chair of the Department of Mental Health Law and Policy at the Florida Mental Health Institute and served as Department Chair from 1992-2004. He joined the College of Public Health in 2012.  Before coming to USF he was General Counsel and Deputy Commissioner in the New York State Office of Mental Health, the largest public mental health agency in the United States. He was the first Director of Forensic Services in the Missouri Department of Mental Health, and the first Fellow in Law & Psychiatry at the University of Virginia School of Law. He was a member of the MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Mandated Community Treatment and in 2010 received a Fulbright Scholar Award to teach and conduct research at Maastricht University in the Netherlands.

Mr. Petrila received his law degree and an advanced degree in mental health law from the University of Virginia School of Law. He is past President of the International Association of Forensic Mental Health Services, and received the University of South Florida President's Award for Faculty Excellence in 2003 and 2013. His research interests include the impact of health law on population health, disparities in access to health care, diversion of people with serious mental illnesses from the justice system, and the development and implementation of health and mental health policy.

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