Dr. Otto obtained a bachelors degree in psychology from the University of Rochester, and masters and doctoral degrees in clinical psychology from Florida State University. He was a clinical psychology intern at the Medical University of South Carolina, after which he completed a 2-year, NIMH-funded postdoctoral fellowship in the College of Law and Department of Psychology at the University of Nebraska. He has been a faculty member at the University of South Florida since 1989, and he also serves as an adjunct faculty member at Stetson University College of Law.
Dr. Otto has served as President of the American Psychology-Law Society (AP-LS) the American Board of Forensic Psychology, and the American Academy of Forensic Psychology, and he recently completed a two-year term as President of the American Board of Professional Psychology-the oldest and largest organization certifying psychological specialists. He chaired the Committee to Revise the Specialty Guidelines for Forensic Psychology and served on the interdisciplinary committee that revised the American Bar Association’s Criminal Justice Mental Health Standards.
Dr. Otto's research, writing, and practice focus on forensic psychological assessment. In 2007 he joined Gary Melton, John Petrila, Norm Poythress, and Chris Slobogin in revising their forensic text, Psychological Evaluations for the Courts: A Handbook for Mental Health Professionals and Lawyers (Guilford Press). More recently, he edited the forensic psychology volume in the multi-volume Handbook of Psychology (Wiley Press), he joined Tampa colleague Irv Weiner as co-editor of the fourth edition of the Handbook of Forensic Psychology (Wiley Press) and with co-authors Rick DeMier and Marc Boccacinni he wrote, Forensic Reports and Testimony: A Guide for Psychologists and Psychiatrists.
Dr. Otto is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association (Division 41) and has received awards for his work from the Society for Personality Assessment, the University of California-San Francisco, the American Academy of Forensic Psychology, and the New York State Psychological Association. In 2009 Dr. Otto’s work on adjudicative competence with colleagues Norm Poythress, John Monahan, Richard Bonnie, and Ken Hoge was cited by the US Supreme Court in Indiana v. Edwards.
When not working or with his family, Dr. Otto can be found on a motorcycle or in a casino.
- B.A., University of Rochester
- M.A., Florida State University
- Ph.D., Florida State University
- M.L.S., University of Nebraska
- Forensic assessment
- Violence risk assessment
- Assessment of civil and criminal competencies
Otto, R. K., Goldstein, A. M, & Heilbrun, K. (in preparation). Ethics in forensic psychology practice. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.