Conference Awards

FMHAC honors two individuals each year for excellent work in the field of forensic mental health with the William T. Rossiter award for global contributions and the Christine M. West award for work in the field.


  • William T. Rossiter Award

    William T. Rossiter Award

    William Rossiter III spent many dedicated years in the field of Forensic Mental Health before his death in early 1988. Among his many accomplishments, he worked as a forensic consultant to the DMH; helped develop the Conditional Release Program; and served as President of the Forensic Mental Health Association of California. In addition, he demonstrated particular commitment and donated much energy in non-forensic areas, facilitating the organization of services to those under represented and in need.

    The Rossiter Award is the highest award the FMHAC bestows. With this award we honor an individual who has made, over a period of time, an exceptional global conribution to the field of Forensic Mental Health. The contribution should encompass a body of on-going and varied work such as clinical program development; administration; facilitating legislative changes and/or education. It must occur in state hospital, juvenile, community Forensic Mental Health or jail/prison settings.

    2017 William T. Rossiter Award Winner

    Edward Latessa, PhD

    Each year FMHAC presents the William T. Rossiter award to an individual who has contributed widely to the field of Forensic Mental Health and treatment of mentally ill involved with criminal justice system and is known for distinguished service.

    This year, the award goes to Dr. Edward Latessa, Director and Professor of the School of Criminal Justice at the University of Cincinnati. Dr. Latessa specializes in research on improving outcomes for justice involved individuals with mental illness and reducing the risk of criminal re-offense. He has published over 150 works in the areas of criminal justice, corrections and juvenile justice over 37 years in the field. He and his staff have assessed over 600 correctional programs throughout the United States and he has provided assistance and workshops in over 48 states.

    Dr. Latessa is best known in our field for his work on distinguishing who to target for intensive treatment, which criminogenic factors to target and the types of treatment to use, such as action-oriented rather than talk therapy. This has been a major influence in community and correctional mental health throughout the country.

    We are thrilled to award this year's Rossiter Award to Dr. Edward Latessa.

  • Christine M. West Award

    Christine M. West Award

    Christine M. West was Director of San Francisco Jail Psychiatric Services for eight years and established Forensic Health Care. Her dedication to the organization included an enormous investment of energy in the FMHAC including service as the board treasure. Ms. West spoke nationally about Jail Forensic Mental Health. She passed away in late 1991.

    The West Award recognizes contributions in the field of Forensic Mental Health. Person, collaborations, a department, or an agency may be nominated for significant individual contributions in areas such as Forensic Mental Health education, clinical treatment, research or program development.

    2017 Christine M. West Award Winner

    Chief Robert Ochs, LCSW

    The Christine M. West Award recognizes significant contributions by a dedicated individual working in the field of Forensic Mental Health. This year, FMHAC honors Chief Probation Officer Robert Ochs. Chief Ochs recently retired after working in county probation since 1979. He maintained a license in clinical social work and much of his work in psychology was in forensic mental health. Chief Ochs often serves on panels and workgroups dealing with the intersection of the mental health and the corrections systems.

    Chief Ochs served two terms as Chair of the Chief Probation Officers of California, Bay Area Region. He has chaired Sonoma County's Community Corrections Partnership, the group designated to design the County's response to the 2011 Criminal Justice Realignment. Chief Ochs has been tireless in his work for probationers with mental illness and deserves all the respect he has received from his peers.

    We are delighted to award the 2017 West Award to Chief Probation Officer Robert Ochs. Go Dodgers!

William T. Rossiter Award

  • 1985 Roger Schock, MD
  • 1986 Donald T. Lee, MCSW, ACSW
  • 1987 Richard P. Mandella
  • 1988 Pamela Craig, RN
  • 1989 Roger J. Wiere, PhD
  • 1990 William E. Reid
  • 1991 Grant J. Ute, LCSW and Elsie Go Lu, PhD
  • 1992 Christine M. West, LCSW
  • 1993 Captane P. Thomson, MD
  • 1994 Diane C. Serber, LCSW
  • 1995 Arthur J. Paull, LCSW
  • 1996 Craig S. Nelson, PhD
  • 1997 Janet J. Kohler, MPA, LCSW
  • 1998 E. Eugene Kunzman, MD
  • 1999 J. Reid Meloy, PhD
  • 2000 Mark Wiederanders, PhD
  • 2001 Phil Erdberg, PhD
  • 2002 The Honorable Harold E. Shabo
  • 2003 David Meyer, JD
  • 2004 Emily Keram, MD
  • 2005 Rusty Selix, JD, and Darrell Steinberg, JD
  • 2006 Barry Perrou, PsyD
  • 2007 California State Sheriff's Association
  • 2008 Janice Marques, PhD
  • 2009 Terry Kupers, MD, MSP
  • 2010 Honorable Judge Stephen Manley
  • 2011 Stephen Mayberg, PhD
  • 2012 Elizabeth Loftus, PhD
  • 2013 -----
  • 2014 Kit Wall & Elaine Linn and Charles Scott, MD
  • 2015 California Judicial Council
  • 2016 Jennifer Skeem, PhD
  • 2017 Edward Latessa, PhD

Christine M. West Award

  • 1993 Robert E. Baldwin, MSSW, and Raul Espinosa, Jr., MHA
  • 1994 Georgette DeBorde, LCSW, and Alisa M. Dunn, LCSW
  • 1995 Timothy P. Meehan, LCSW
  • 1996 Grenda Ernst, LCSW
  • 1997 Melvin E. Hunter, MPA, JD, and Mitchell E. Marquez, LCSW
  • 1998 Carla M. Jacobs and Douglas R. Korpi, PhD
  • 1999 Patricia Butler, RN, and Burt Rein, PhD
  • 2000 Bradford Smith, LCSW, and Jay Adams, PhD
  • 2001 Rolf LaMar, LCSW
  • 2002 Ben Auerbach, MA
  • 2003 Ray Beland, LCSW
  • 2004 Gilbert Abdalian, MFT
  • 2005 Kevin Smith, LCSW
  • 2006 Richard Hayward, PhD
  • 2007 Louis Hodnett, MSW, and Wanda Killion, LCSW
  • 2008 Lynda Frost
  • 2009 Joel Fay, PsyD
  • 2010 Jo Robinson, MFT
  • 2011 Douglas Taylor Smith, LCSW
  • 2012 Candace Kunz-Tao, MFT
  • 2013 Millie Swafford, LCSW, and Kenneth Carabello, MSW
  • 2014 Heather Bowlds, PsyD, and David Polak, LCSW
  • 2015 John Philipsborn, JD
  • 2016 LAPD/LACDMH Mental Evaluation Unit
  • 2017 Chief Robert Ochs, LCSW