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Competency Assessment Instrument (CAI)

The Competence to Stand Trial Assessment Instrument, often called the Competency Assessment Instrument (CAI), was developed in 1973 as a companion instrument to the Competency Screening Test (CST) and sought to standardize as well as quantify the criteria for competence to stand trial. The instrument was created by an interdisciplinary team of psychologists, psychiatrists, and lawyers at Harvard's Laboratory of Community Psychiatry during a project funded by a research grant from the Center for Studies of Crime and Delinquency, National Institute of Mental Health. The CAI addresses 13 functions related to the defendant's “ability to cope with the trial process in an adequately self-protective fashion.”

Although the concept that a defendant must be competent to proceed in the trial process has been generally accepted in Western ...

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