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Amy C. Watson

Associate Professor

BA, Criminal Justice, Aurora University, Aurora, Illinois
AM, University of Chicago, School of Social Service Administration
PhD, University of Chicago, School of Social Service Administration

E-mail: acwatson@uic.edu
Phone: (312) 996-0039
Room: 4242, ETMSW

Download CV

Amy C. Watson

Professional Interests 

  • Mental Health Policy
  • Interface of the criminal justice and mental health systems
  • Mental illness stigma and treatment participation

Current Research

  • "Testing a systems level intervention to improve police response to persons with mental illness: CIT in Chicago " (NIMH)
  • "Police, Procedural Justice & Persons with Mental Illness"(NIMH)
  • Forensic Assertive Community Treatment: Re-Entry Evaluation ( Chicago Community Trust)
  • "Police Officer Response to Emotionally Disturbed Person Calls" ( Center for Mental Health Services and Criminal Justice Research)


  • Mental Health Policy
  • Social Work Research
  • Social Work with Military Service Members, Veterans and Families

Practice Experience

Probation officer in DuPage County for five years, working primarily with probation clients with mental illness. Several years as a forensic social worker, conducting mitigation investigations for death penalty cases. 


Watson AC, Angell B, Morabito MS, & Robinson N.(2008)Defying negative expectations: Dimensions of fair and respectful treatment by police officers as perceived by people with mental illness. Administration & Policy in Mental Health & Mental Health Services Research. 35, 449-457.

Watson AC Morabito MS, Draine J, Ottati V. (2008) Improving police response to persons with mental illness: A multi-level conceptualization of CIT. International Journal of Law & Psychiatry. 31, 359-368.

Watson AC, Kelly B & Vidalon T (2009). Examining the meaning attached to mental illness and mental health services among justice system involved youth and their parents. Qualitative Health Research, 19 (8) 1087-1099.

Watson, A.C, Ottati, V.C., Morabito, M., Draine, J., Kerr, A.N., Angell,B. (2010). Outcomes of police contacts with persons with mental illness: The impact of CIT. Administration and Policy in Mental Health and Mental Health Services Research. Vol 37 (4) p302-317. DOI10.107/s10488-009-0236-9.

Watson, AC, Angell, B, Vidalon, T, Davis, K (2010) Measuring Perceived Procedural Justice and Coercion among Persons with Mental Illness in Police Encounters: The Police Contact Experience Scale. Journal of Community Psychology, 38, 2, 206-226.

Watson, AC (2010) Research in the real world: Studying Chicago Police Department's Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) program. Research on Social Work Practice. 20 536-543.

Morabito, MS, Kerr, AN, Watson, AC, Draine, J, Angell, B (in press). Crisis Intervention Teams and People with Mental Illness: Exploring the Factors that Influence the Use of Force. Crime & Delinquency.

Kerr, AN, Morabito, MS & Watson, AC (2010). Police encounters, mental illness and injury: An Exploratory study. Journal of Police Crisis Negotiations 10 (1-2) 116-132.

Canada, K, Angell, B & Watson. AC (2010). Crisis Intervention Teams in Chicago: Successes on the ground. Journal of Police Crisis Negotiations. 10 (1-2) 86-100.

Compton, M.T., Broussard, B., Hankerson-Dyson, D., Krishan, S., Steward, T., Oliva, J.R., & Watson, AC (2010). System- and Policy-Level Challenges to Full Implementation of the Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) Model. Journal of Police Crisis Negotiations. 10 (1-2) 72-85.

Lurigio, A & Watson, AC (2010). The Police and people with mental illness: New Approaches to a longstanding problem. Journal of Police Crisis Negotiations. 10 (1-2) 3-14.

Watson, A.C., Ottati, V.C., Draine, J.N., Morabito, M. (in press) CIT in context: The Impact of mental health resource availability and district saturation on call outcomes. International Journal of Law and Psychiatry. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijlp.2011.07.008

Affiliations, Associations, & Consultations 

  • Chicago Consortium for Stigma Research
  • American Society of Criminology
  • Criminal Justice/Mental Health Committee, DuPage County