A wide variety of psychological assessments may be ordered by the court to assist in making decisions involving legal matters. A psychologist may be called on to help determine whether a defendant is competent to stand trial or was insane at the time of the offense. These evaluations usually consist of a clinical interview and psychological testing. In all forensic evaluations, the final decision is made by the court (judge or jury), not by the psychologist or expert witness. Of the different types of forensic mental health evaluations, the most frequently requested are violence risk assessments, competency to stand trial evaluations, and insanity evaluations.

Violence Risk Assessment

Frequently, criminal courts call on mental health professionals to evaluate the dangerousness of violent and sex offenders. The main goal ...

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