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Evaluation of Criminal Responsibility (Best Practices in Forensic Mental Health Assessment) Paperback – 16 Mar 2009
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"The references are up to date and the index is useful... [The information] is useful and presented in an engaging manner."--Doody's Health Sciences Review
Forensic mental health assessment (FMHA) has grown into a specialization informed by research and professional guidelines. This series presents up-to-date information on the most important and frequently conducted forms of FMHA. The 19 topical volumes address best approaches to practice for particular types of evaluation in the criminal, civil and juvenile/family areas. Each volume contains a thorough discussion of the relevant legal and psychological concepts, followed by a step-by-step description of the assessment process from preparing for the evaluation to writing the report and testifying in court. Volumes include the following helpful features: - Boxes that zero in on important information for use in evaluations - Tips for best practice and cautions against common pitfalls - Highlighting of relevant case law and statutes - Separate list of assessment tools for easy reference - Helpful glossary of key terms for the particular topic In making recommendations for best practice, authos consider empirical support, legal relevance, and consistency with ethical and professional standards.These volumes offer invaluable guidance for anyone involved in conducting or using forensic evaluations. See all Product description
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Criminal responsibility evaluations are difficult endeavors both because of their retrospective nature, and also because we can never know for sure what was going on in someone else's head, especially when that person may have understandable reasons to distort. Dr. Packer offers a hypothesis-testing model in which we try to determine which explanation most parsimoniously fits with the accumulated data, while still acknowledging alternatives and limitations. In delineating common interpretation errors in criminal responsibility evaluations (e.g., illusory correlation and overreaching), the author repeatedly stresses the importance of qualifying our opinions and not leaping from the data to a single, unitary conclusion.
This is yet another excellent offering in the Best Practices in Forensic Mental Health Assessment series (see my other reviews for other entries in the series, all but one of which received highly favorable ratings from me). Clearly written and well indexed, this manual is a three-in-one special: It is a good starting point for novice practitioners, a useful review source for experienced forensic psychologists, and an excellent teaching tool for use in classrooms or at internship training sites.