Presentation of the 2021 Howard Sokolov Forensic Mental Health Leadership Award

In 2015, OhioMHAS established “The Howard H. Sokolov Forensic Mental Health Leadership Award” to honor the memory of Howard Sokolov, MD.


Dr. Sokolov was a legend in forensic psychiatry in Ohio. He was an outstanding psychiatrist, leader, and scholar who made tremendous contributions to Ohio’s mental health field for decades. He was quite instrumental in the development of Ohio’s current forensic mental health system including the extensive revision of the forensic statutes in the Ohio Revised Code. He was influential in the establishment of the system of community-based forensic evaluation centers and the development of numerous forensic policies and procedures that govern the work in the Regional Psychiatric Hospitals.


Dr. Sokolov served as Commissioner of the former Department of Mental Health in the 1970s, and subsequently held a number of other positions including Forensic Medical Director and Acting Medical Director for an extended period. He also served as President of the Ohio Psychiatric Association and was Professor of Psychiatry and George T. Harding III Psychotherapy Chair at The Ohio State University, where he was named as “Professor of the Year” by the psychiatry residents on several occasions.


PURPOSE: To recognize excellence in the Ohio forensic mental health system by honoring an individual or a program involved in a direct practice, program, policy-making and/or planning role who influences forensic mental health services by consistently reflecting a commitment to excellence, recognition of dignity and worth of the consumer, the security and safety of the community, and dedication to providing quality forensic mental health services.

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Published by Ohio Forensic Evaluation Center Directors Association

We offer Ohio's Courts of Common Pleas and the other criminal justice and mental health related services in our regions evidence-based, expertly crafted mental health opinions, and promote the ideals of objectivity and excellence in all forensic evaluation opinions proffered. We strive to promote this standard through the work of our centers and to our colleagues and consultants outside of our centers through training and supervision. Further, we never fail to consider the community's safety, as well as the individual's need for the most clinically appropriate interventions, as we are crafting these opinions and conducting our training. Additionally, we serve our colleagues in the state hospitals, the prison system and the state and county Mental Health and Addiction Services Boards, Developmental Disability Boards, Probation Departments and Municipal Courts to find effective solutions to many of our risk of violence and community mental health safety issues. We are proud to serve the courts of Ohio, and appreciate the ongoing recognition we receive for our work.

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