Fundamentals of Forensic Practice: Mental Health and Criminal Law / Edition 1

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Forensic psychologists and psychiatrists are increasingly asked to provide expertise to courts and attorneys in the criminal justice system. To do so effectively, they must stay abreast of important advances in the understanding of legal standards as well as new developments in sophisticated measures and the methods for their assessment. Fundamentals of Forensic Practice is designed to address the critical issues that are faced by mental health experts in their role of conducting assessments, presenting findings, and preparing for challenges to admissibility and credibility.

Uniquely practical and comprehensive, this volume operationalizes legal standards and describes empirically validated methods for their evaluation. Not only is this essential for mental health professionals, but it is equally valuable to criminal attorneys. Lawyers require both clinical knowledge and understanding of legal standards in order to prepare their own experts and to challenge those on the opposing side. For both clinical and legal experts Fundamentals of Forensic Practice offers a full view of all phases of criminal proceedings:

- Pretrial—diversion, determinations of bail, waivers of Miranda rights, and the capacity to consent to searches.

- Trial—competency to stand trial and criminal responsibility. Beyond insanity, the latter addresses mens rea, automatism, and psychological context evidence, such as battered-woman syndrome.

- Post-trial—sentencing, capital sentencing, competency to be executed, and other post-conviction issues.

Other key features include:

- Chapters on specific criminal issues in a consistent format, with comprehensive coverage of legal standards and relevant clinical methods

- Guidelines for conducting more effective forensic evaluations

- In-depth coverage of specialized assessments, eg. malingering, sexual predator cases, and the insanity defense.

- A detailed overview of direct and cross-examination strategies

This book is the second collaboration between Rogers and Shuman. As individual authors, each received the American Psychiatric Association’s prestigious Guttmacher Award for their outstanding contributions to forensic psychiatry.

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Editorial Reviews

Doody's Review Service
Reviewer: Steven T. Herron, MD (Assurance Health and Wellness)
Description: Penned as a resource for those practicing in the field of mental health law, this book addresses various general and advanced forensic topics from both clinical and legal perspectives.
Purpose: The authors state their purpose in writing this book is "to provide in-depth knowledge to both experts and attorneys" regarding the criminal justice system by considering the "major legal, empirical, and forensic issues found in the law-mental health interface."
Audience: Geared primarily toward attorneys practicing in the area of mental health or criminal law, this book is also useful for psychiatrists and psychologists who perform forensic work. It might also be relevant for students seeking specific training in forensic evaluations.
Features: The first portion of the book, broader in its presentation, is dedicated to many of the general concepts to be expanded upon in the later, more clinically oriented, chapters. Each chapter addressing specific legal issues is separated into four components, namely discussing the relevant legal standard, creating a clinical understanding of the legal standard, confronting clinical methods to assess the standard, and issues in the courtroom related to direct and cross-examination of expert witnesses.
Assessment: While this book is well researched and comprehensive, it is likely to be more valuable to legal professionals than clinical experts, as its style is mostly confrontational and rigid. The most difficult aspect of the practice of forensic psychiatry is translating abstract concepts of mental disorders into the concrete foundations used in law. In many cases, legal concepts are inflexible and do not appreciate the subtleties of psychiatric illness, making the value of an expert even greater if they are able to educate the fact finder. In addition, the concept of standardizing examinations with clinical instruments can be appealing, but the rea1ity of carrying out such a mandate would be problematic at best, and might, in fact, limit access to qualified practitioners of forensic psychiatry and psychology by those in need.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780387252261
  • Publisher: Springer US
  • Publication date: 8/30/2005
  • Edition description: 2005
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 446
  • Sales rank: 1,120,994
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Table of Contents

I. Foundations of Practice.- Clinical and Legal Framework.- Malingering and Deception in Criminal Evaluations.- The Nature of Experts and Their Testimony.- II. Specific Criminal Issues.- Forensic Determinations of Diversion and Bail.- Miranda and Beyond: Competencies Related to Police Investigations.- Competency to Stand Trial.- Insanity Defense.- Beyond Insanity: Other Issues of Criminal Responsibility.- Sentencing Recommendations and Capital Issues.- Competency to be Executed and Other Post-Conviction Relief Issues.- Sexual Predator Determinations.- Integration: Themes in Criminal Forensic Practice.

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