The Forensic Training Academy (FTA) at John Jay College of Criminal Justice is a research and training lab Directed by Dr. Patricia Zapf. The primary goal of the FTA is to improve the quality of forensic evaluation through research, training, and professional outreach.
The FTA conducts research on issues relevant to forensic evaluation. Professional training programs are used as a primary means of studying issues relevant to the practice of forensic evaluation. Research topics include: surveys of professional practice regarding various aspects of forensic evaluation; evaluation of the psychometric properties of various forensic assessment instruments; examination of cognitive biases in forensic evaluation and forensic decision making; surveys of ethical and legal issues relevant to forensic practice; and investigations of the effectiveness of various training programs and techniques. The FTA works closely with CONCEPT, which provides access to online professional training programs and de-identified data regarding training program outcomes. Both the FTA and CONCEPT are directed by Patricia Zapf. Find out more information about our current research projects here.
The FTA sponsors a Summer Training Institute at John Jay College each year in June. The Summer Training Institute is 5 days of professional training workshops that are targeted towards professionals working in the forensic, criminal justice, and civil justice systems as well as senior-level graduate students and postdocs. Workshop topics vary each year but focus on issues in forensic evaluation. These in-person workshops allow the opportunity to receive world-class professional training in forensic evaluation by internationally recognized experts. In addition, the Summer Training Institute serves as a primary means of data collection for the FTA on issues relevant to forensic practice and training. More information about our Summer Training Institute can be found here.
Professional outreach by the FTA involves the dissemination of brief summaries of recent research with a focus on how practitioners (broadly defined) might use the results in their practice. Our Translating Research into Practice (TRiP) posts are authored by members of the FTA and disseminated both on our own blog and social media platforms as well as those of our training partner, CONCEPT. Please check out our latest TRiP posts here.