Criminal Forensic Assessment

Authored by: Amanda L. Reed , Patricia A. Zapf

Handbook of Forensic Mental Health Services

Print publication date:  May  2017
Online publication date:  May  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138645943
eBook ISBN: 9781315627823
Adobe ISBN:


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As defendants proceed through the criminal justice system, there are several stages at which mental health professionals might be asked to perform evaluations to assist the criminal process, including arrest (e.g., evaluation of competency to waive Miranda (United States), Charter (Canada), or other relevant rights at arrest to protect a suspect against self-incrimination), pretrial (e.g., competency or fitness to stand trial; competency to proceed pro se), trial (e.g., mental state at the time of the offense), sentencing (e.g., competency to be sentenced; evaluation of mitigating factors), release (e.g., risk for future general or sexual violence), or execution (e.g., competency to be executed in the United States). Collectively, these evaluations are referred to as criminal forensic assessments. In this chapter we provide a general overview of criminal forensic assessment, focusing on issues related to standards, procedures, and evaluation practices relevant to competency, insanity, and future risk.

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