James Gilligan is an Americanpsychiatrist and author, husband of Carol Gilligan and best known for his series of books entitled Violence, where he draws on 25 years of work in the American prison system to describe the motivation and causes behind violent behavior.
During his career, Gilligan has served as director for the Bridgewater State Hospital for the criminally insane, director of mental health for the Massachusetts prison system and as President of the International Association for Forensic Psychotherapy. He now lectures at the Department of Psychiatry, New York University. Professor Gilligan is an Adjunct Professor at NYU Law and Collegiate Professor at NYU's College of Arts and Sciences. He has been on the faculty at NYU since 2002.
Previously, Dr. Gilligan was a faculty member at Harvard Medical School, where he worked from 1966 to 2000. In 1977 he became the Director of the Harvard Institute of Law and Psychiatry.
Dr. Gilligan was brought in as the Medical Director the Massachusetts prison mental hospital in Bridgewater, Massachusetts because of the high suicide and murder rates within their prisons. When he left ten years later the rates of both had dropped to nearly zero.