Neil Gowensmith is a core faculty member at the University of Denver’s Graduate School of Professional Psychology, teaching exclusively in the Forensic Psychology graduate program. In 2014, he created and became the director of the department’s forensic mental health institute, Denver FIRST (The University of Denver’s Forensic Institute for Research, Service, and Training).
Neil graduated with honors from the University of Texas at Austin. He completed his PhD at Colorado State University, his predoctoral internship at the Honolulu VA, and his post-doctoral fellowship at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital, focusing on forensic evaluation. He has worked in prisons, jails, courts, community mental health centers, and mental health hospitals throughout his career. From 2006-2012 he served as the Chief of Forensic Services for the State of Hawaii, helping lead Hawaii out of federal oversight and implementing several innovative and evidence-based community forensic policies and programs. He continues to serve as a national expert in forensic mental health, with consultation, research and practice focusing specifically on community-based competency restoration, standards for forensic evaluators, violence risk assessment, conditional release of insanity acquittees, and public forensic mental health systems.