Dr. Sarah Desmarais

Dr. Sarah Desmarais

Dr. Sarah Desmarais

Dr. Sarah L. Desmarais is an Associate Professor of Psychology at North Carolina State University and the 2015 recipient of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences Outstanding Junior Faculty Award. She completed her graduate training in forensic psychology at Simon Fraser University, and postdoctoral fellowships in public health and psychology at the University of British Columbia. Prior to coming to North Carolina State University, she was an Assistant Professor at the University of South Florida jointly appointed in the departments of Mental Health Law & Policy and Community & Family Health. Dr. Desmarais works on issues at the nexus of the behavioral health and criminal justice systems. She has more than 50 peer-reviewed publications on topics including risk assessment, mental illness, substance use, and violence. Funded by the National Institute of Mental Health, the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the Department of Defense, the Department of Veterans Affairs, Florida’s Department of Children and Families, and the Bristol Meyers Squibb Foundation, her current research is focused on the development, implementation and evaluation of evidence-based practices for the prevention of criminal justice involvement among adolescents and adults with mental illnesses. Dr. Desmarais is a co-author of the Short-Term Assessment of Risk and Treatability (START) and the Short-Term Assessment of Risk and Treatability: Adolescent Version (START:AV), structured professional guides for assessing and managing risks associated with behavioral health problems. She has contributed to the development of related resources including the START Outcome Scale (SOS), the START User Feedback Survey, and the START Instructors’ Guide and Workbook. Dr. Desmarais trains and consults with mental health and criminal justice professionals worldwide on the implementation of START, START:AV, and other risk assessment approaches.

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