Dr. Ira Packer

Dr. Ira K. Packer, Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, directs the highly respected UMMS Postdoctoral Residency Program in Forensic Psychology, and directs the Forensic Evaluation Service at Worcester Recovery Center and Hospital. He also is the Director of the Massachusetts Center of Excellence for Specialty Courts. Dr. Packer previously served (1993-1996) as the Assistant Commissioner for Forensic Mental Health in Massachusetts. He has been a practicing forensic psychologist for over 35 years, with a particular focus on evaluations of criminal responsibility, competence to stand trial, and violence risk assessment.

Dr. Packer has served in a number of leadership capacities affecting Forensic Psychology nationally. He was a member of the examination faculty for the American Board of Forensic Psychology (ABFP) and has previously served as National Chair of Examinations, Vice-President, and President of ABFP. He has also served as Vice-President and President of the American Academy of Forensic Psychology (AAFP). Dr. Packer chaired the Forensic Specialty Council that developed the Education and Training Guidelines for Forensic Psychology (which enables, for the first time, accreditation by APA of Postdoctoral Residencies in Forensic Psychology). He has also served as Vice President (2007) and President (2008-2009) of the Council of Specialties in Professional Psychology. In 2007, Dr. Packer was presented with the Distinguished Contributions to Forensic Psychology Award by the American Academy of Forensic Psychology.

Dr. Packer received his B.A from Columbia University in 1974 and his Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania in 1979. He has provided numerous workshops and presentations nationally, including topics such as Criminal Responsibility, Violence Risk Assessment, and Expert Witness testimony. He has numerous publications including two books: Packer, I.K. (2009). Evaluation of Criminal Responsibility. New York, NY: Oxford University Press; Packer, I.K. and Grisso, T. (2011). Specialty Competencies in Forensic Psychology. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.