Evaluation Of Competency For Stand Trial

1101 Words Feb 3rd, 2016 5 Pages
Forensic Assessments
Correctional Psychology
Jessica Hogan
January 20, 2016
Dr. Kenneth Martz
Argosy University

During any court proceeding, it is required that the defendant is competent to stand trial. Legal competency is defined as “the presence of those characteristics, or the absence of those disabilities, which render a witness legally fit and qualified to give testimony in a court of justice” (thelawdictionary.org). Defendants that are found mentally incompetent to stand trial are usually hospitalized and receive some type of treatment until the person is competent to stand trial. To determine mental competency there are a few commonly used tests.
The Evaluation of Competency to Stand Trial Revised (ECST-R) is a semi-structured interview that consists of three scales (Knoll & Resnick, 2008). The purpose of this test is to assess factual and rational understanding of courtroom proceedings as well as the ability to consult with counsel. The ECST-R is a commonly used assessment tool because of its validity. This assessment is used for both competent and incompetent defendants unlike other assessments. One of the restrictions of the ECST-R is that it is not beneficial for assessing defendants with an IQ score lower than 60 (Rogers and Johansson-Love, 2009).
The ECST-R In addition to the ECST-R, the MacArthur Competence Assessment Tool-Criminal Adjudication (MacCAT-CA) can also be used to measure competency. The MacCAT-CA measures competency by…
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