Derek T. Hess

Derek T Hess

Interim Department Chair
  • Assistant Professor
    Forensic Psychology Department

  • The Chicago School Chicago
Forensic Psychology
The Chicago School of Professional Psychology
Office Location
Office Phone
On-campus Ext.

Dr. Hess completed a joint-J.D.-Ph.D. program in Psychology-Law with a concentration in Forensic Psychology at Palo Alto University and Golden Gate University School of Law.  He briefly practiced as a civil and criminal litigation attorney in the San Francisco Bay Area before moving to Worcester, Massachusetts to complete his psychology internship at UMASS Medical School/Worcester State Hospital. Dr. Hess completed his postdoctoral training in forensic psychology at UMASS Medical School’s Law-Psychiatry Program where he conducted criminal and civil forensic psychological evaluations of adults across various settings and provided expert witness testimony in cases involving competency/fitness to stand trial, criminal responsibility, aid-in sentencing/mitigation, civil commitment, violence risk assessment, and disability rights. Dr. Hess successfully fulfilled the requirements for consideration as a Designated Forensic Psychologist (DFP) for the state of Massachusetts. In addition to teaching and supervising student dissertations, Dr. Hess currently conducts forensic psychological evaluations on a private-practice basis, as well as compensation and pension evaluations of veterans at the Hines VA Medical Center.  His research interests aim to improve public policy and involve topics such as, cultural issues of forensic mental health assessment, specialty/problem-solving courts, sex offenders, jail diversion/community offender management, and malingering.

  • B.A., Psychology & Political Science, Plattsburgh State University of New York (SUNY)
  • J.D., Golden Gate University School of Law
  • Ph.D., Clinical Psychology, Pacific Graduate School of Psychology at Palo Alto University
  • Post-doctoral Fellowship in Forensic Psychology, University of Massachusetts Medical School
  • Licensed Clinical Psychologist, Illinois
  • Licensed Attorney, California
Areas Of Expertise

Select Publications

  • Hess, D., Weaver, C., & Pagano, V. (2013, Summer). Assessing symptom validity of PTSD in veterans. American Psychology Law Society (AP-LS) News, 8-12.
  • Hess, D. T. & Packer, I. K. (2012). Treatment disclosures in sex offender civil commitment evaluations. Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law, 40(3), 424-426. 
  • Chopra, S. & Hess, D. T. (2010). Mental health professionals in the witness chair: Strategies for more effective legal testimony. Psychiatric Malpractice Risk Management, 6, 55-67. 
  • Jackson, R. L. & Hess, D. T. (2007). Evaluations for the civil commitment of sex offenders: A survey of experts. Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment, 19, 425-448. 

Select Presentations

  • Hess, D. T. & Sharpe, C. A. (March 2014). Competency to participate in immigration proceedings. Symposium session presented at the American Psychology-Law Society (AP-LS) Annual Convention, New Orleans, LA.
  • Hess, D. T. (June 2012). Navigating the intersection of mental illness, substance abuse, and cognitive impairment in forensic evaluations. Clinical-forensic case presentation at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, Law and Psychiatry Program, Clinical and Research Seminar, Worcester, MA. 
  • Hess, D. T. (June 2012). Shocks and pellets: Using behaviorist theory to improve specialty court research. Paper presented at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, Law and Psychiatry Program, Clinical and Research Seminar, Worcester, MA. 
  • Hess, D. T. & Jackson, R. L. (March 2011). Treatment intervention and service delivery in mental health courts. Poster session presented at the 4th International Congress of Psychology and Law, Miami, FL. 
  • Hess, D. T. & Jackson, R. L. (March 2010). Court-culture, environment, & intervention techniques in mental health courts: Implications for public policy. Poster session presented at the American Psychology-Law Society (AP-LS) Annual Convention, Vancouver, BC. 


  • Dayton Halts Release of Sex Offenders, Minnesota Public Radio - The Daily Circuit, November 14, 2013.
  • Sex Offenders Sue Chicago Police Department over Registration Fees, WBEZ 91.5 Chicago, November 8, 2012.

Professional Memberships

  • American Psychology-Law Society (AP-LS), Early Career Professional Member.
  • Academic Consortium on Criminal Justice Health.
  • California Bar Association.