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. He supervises doctoral students who are completing diagnostic practicum at Cook County Juvenile Probation. His research interests aim to improve public policy and explore social justice issues. Topics include, but are not limited to: cultural issues of forensic mental health assessment, specialty/problem-solving courts, sex offenders, jail diversion/community offender management, and malingering.