Psychological evaluations for the courts : a handbook for mental health professionals and lawyers

Melton, Gary B., author

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  • "Tens of thousands of readers have relied on this leading text and practitioner reference--now revised and updated--to understand the issues the legal system most commonly asks mental health professionals to address. Highly readable, the volume demystifies the forensic psychological assessment process and provides guidelines for participating effectively and ethically in legal proceedings. Presented are clinical and legal concepts and evidence-based assessment procedures pertaining to criminal and civil competencies, the insanity defense and related doctrines, sentencing, civil commitment, personal injury claims, antidiscrimination laws, child custody, juvenile justice, and other justice-related areas. Case examples, exercises, and a glossary facilitate learning; 19 sample reports illustrate how to conduct and write up thorough, legally admissible evaluations. New to This Edition: Extensively revised to reflect important legal, empirical and clinical developments. Increased attention to medical and neuroscientific research. New protocols relevant to competence, risk assessment, child custody, and mental injury evaluations. Updates on insanity, sentencing, civil commitment, the Americans with Disabilities Act, Social Security, juvenile and family law, and the admissibility of expert testimony. Treatment of immigration law (including a sample report) and international law. New and revised sample reports."--


  • Includes bibliographical references and index.


  • Law and the mental health professions: an uneasy alliance -- An overview of the legal system: sources of law, the court system, and the adjudicative process -- The nature and method of forensic assessment -- Constitutional, common-law, and ethical contours of the evaluation process : the mental health professional as double agent -- Managing public and private forensic services -- Competence to proceed -- Other competencies in the criminal process -- Mental state at the time of the offense -- Sentencing -- Civil commitment -- Civil competencies -- Compensating mental injury : workers' compensation and torts -- Federal antidiscrimination, entitlement and immigration laws -- Juvenile delinquency -- Child abuse and neglect -- Child custody in divorce -- Education and habilitation -- Consultation, report writing, and expert testimony -- Sample reports -- Glossary
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