Psychologists and Forensic Assesment

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Forensic Assessment Forensic Assessments are conducted by psychologists (mental health professionals) for a variety of reason; when a decision needs to be made based on a legal question, of competency, insanity, custody, etc. (Heilbrun, Grisso, & Goldstein, 2009). Psychologists are also present to provide services that are helpful to a case in making things clearer and in helping to determine if someone has a mental illness or a disorder for example. Forensic assessments can be done for those purposes mentioned; however can also be done in correctional settings to help offenders cope with their new environment and how they can transition back into society after being in prison (Heilbrun, Grisso, & Goldstein, 2009). The primary focus in juvenile courts is to attempt to rehabilitate the juvenile and therefore will provide support and assessments to reach this goal (Jackson, 2008). In the case study provided, the focus of the assessment may be different than that of an adult. Because the client is a juvenile, they may look for different answers to different questions. The roles of the psychologist are essential and very crucial and can differ based on the population they are evaluating (Jackson, 2008). There are certain things that may need to be considered with a juvenile that would not be considered with an adult. Also, there are more appropriate instruments that can be used in these cases and more people may be involved as a juvenile is not yet an adult (Jackson, 2008). Factors such as age and multicultural backgrounds need to be considered in forensic assessments and can have a very significant impact on sentencing and the case as whole (Jackson, 2008). Therefore, forensic psychologists have to be very well informed an... ... middle of paper ... ...e knowledgeable information about a client in helping to determine things such as competency to stand trial, being tried as an adult, credibility for testimony, etc. Therefore, obtaining the best information possible whether it is through the individual in instruments or from third party resources, the most should be done to collect what is needed for a successful testimony. There are certain factors that forensic psychologists and the courts must consider in order to make the best possible decision for the case. It is the important elements of the case, following ethical codes, and a respect for the forensic assessment principles that will lead to a precise, confident, meticulous, competent and undoubted testimony. I am glad Brenton Butler was found innocent. It shows that good arguments and valid scientific evidence always beats unethical and incompetent work.

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