Dr. Keith Cruise is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology and Adjunct Professor of Law at Fordham University. Dr. Cruise conducts research on the clinical-forensic assessment of youth within the juvenile justice system. Various research projects have focused on developing and validating specialized risk assessment protocols, investigating the utility of mental health screening instruments with justice-involved youth, and understanding the connection between trauma exposure, trauma reactions, and delinquent behavior. Dr. Cruise also conducts forensic evaluations of justice-involved youth including post-disposition assessments of risk and treatment amenability, providing expert testimony to juvenile courts, and providing technical assistance and consultation to local and state juvenile justice systems. Dr. Cruise is a Co-Principal Investigator on a grant from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention investigating the impact of trauma screening on service delivery and legal outcomes for justice-involved youth, and is a Co-Director of the Center for Trauma Recovery and Juvenile Justice (CTRJJ), a technical assistance center that is part of the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN).
Based on my training in clinical-forensic psychology and the law, my research interests are closely connected to my clinical interests and forensic practice. Broadly defined, my research interests are in the areas of assessment and treatment of legal defendants with an emphasis on justice-involved youth. My primary research interest is developing and investigating the clinical utility of specialized assessment instruments to better understand the complex, overlapping needs of adolescents who come into contact with the court system. My interest in this area is grounded in the position that psychologists who are responsible for assessing and treating justice-involved youth must base their work on empirically supported decision tools and interventions. Translating research findings into practice is a central theme of my research, my consultation to juvenile justice systems across the country, and my clinical-forensic practice.
Recent research projects have included a federally funded study investigating the effectiveness of enhanced mental health screening for poly-victimization in justice-involved youth, developing and validating the Short-term Assessment of Risk and Treatability: Adolescent Version (START:AV), and examining the impact of trauma on adolescent risk/needs assessments and case planning. As a core faculty member of the Center for Trauma Recovery and Juvenile Justice (CTRJJ), I have collaborated on a national survey of juvenile probation officer practices related to trauma-informed care. Selected presentations and publications reflecting these interests are noted below.