Allison Redlich joined the faculty of the School of Criminal Justice in the fall of 2008. She has two main research foci. The first concerns interrogation methods (police and military) and their potential to produce false confessions. Dr. Redlich is particularly interested in vulnerable populations identified as being at increased risk for false confessions (juveniles and persons with mental impairments) and attempts to understand the developmental and clinical mechanisms that may underlie the risks. In a related line of research, Dr. Redlich has begun to study false guilty pleas and Alford pleas. Alford pleas allow defendants who assert their innocence to plead guilty rather than risking convictions (and lengthy sentences) at trial.
Dr. Redlich's second research focus concerns mental health courts (MHCs). MHCs are criminal courts for offenders with mental illness that divert eligible persons from the criminal justice system (being charged, being sent to jail or prison) into community treatment. Dr. Redlich is currently studying whether MHC clients make knowing, intelligent, and voluntary enrollment decisions, and whether informed decision-making at the outset predicts future MHC success. In addition, Dr. Redlich with Dr. Henry J. Steadman, is conducting a four-site, longitudinal study on the effectiveness of MHCs.
Dr. Redlich has received funding from the National Science Foundation, NARSAD: The Mental Health Research Association, and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation to address these lines of research. She is well published in both areas and has offered expert testimony in court. Prior to joining the faculty at UAlbany, Dr. Redlich was a Senior Research Associate at Policy Research Associates and a Research Scientist at the Stanford University School of Medicine.