Macarthur Competence Assessment Tool for Criminal Adjudication (MACCAT–CA)

Mental health professionals often conduct evaluations to assist courts in determining whether a criminal defendant is competent to participate in the adjudicatory process. A variety of instruments have been developed to help structure these forensic assessments; this entry describes one of the more contemporary competence assessment instruments, the MacArthur Competence Assessment Tool–Criminal Adjudication (MacCAT–CA).

In the United States, people accused of crimes have certain rights with respect to the adjudicatory process that are guaranteed by the Constitution. In particular, they have the Fifth Amendment protection against self-incrimination and rights articulated in the Sixth Amendment, which include the assistance of legal counsel, the right to confront their accusers, and the right to trial by a jury of their peers.

To benefit from these rights, defendants must be ...

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