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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 148258 Find in a Library
Title: Psychometric Evaluation of Two Scales Assessing Fitness to Stand Trial (From Psychology and Law: International Perspectives, P 440-446, 1992, Friedrich Losel, Doris Bender, et al., eds. -- See NCJ-148224)
Author(s): R M Bagby; R Nicholson
Date Published: 1992
Page Count: 7
Sponsoring Agency: Walter de Gruyter & Co
1 Berlin 30, Germany United
Sale Source: Walter de Gruyter & Co
Genthiner Str 13
1 Berlin 30,
Germany (Unified)
Type: Research (Applied/Empirical)
Language: English
Country: Germany (Unified)
Annotation: This study examined psychometric properties of the Georgia Court Competency Test-Mississippi State Hospital Revision (GCCT-MSH) and the Fitness to Stand Trial Interview Test (FIT) with a large sample of defendants referred to an outpatient assessment center in Toronto, Canada.
Abstract: The sample consisted of defendants remanded to the Brief Assessment Unit of the Metropolitan Toronto Forensic Service. Evaluations were conducted between June 1989 and March 1990. A psychiatrist conducted a standard diagnostic interview which typically included several questions about fitness to stand trial. Following the interview, the GCCT- MSH was administered by forensically trained clinical psychologists. Judgments about defendant competence were made after administering the GCCT-MSH. Of 353 defendants seen, 42 refused to answer questions or were too psychotic to participate in the interview. Of the remaining 311 defendants, 267 were male and 44 were female; 234 were white, 61 were black, 13 were Asian, and six were Canadian Indian. Both the GCCT-MSH and the FIT had excellent internal consistency and suggested that the use of standardized psycholegal measures to assess fitness to stand trial reduces the influence of nonlegal demographic variables in determining fitness. The authors conclude that the GCCT-MSH is preferred over the FIT for such evaluations because it appears to be less redundant, casts a broader nominological net over the fitness construct, and is relatively independent of potentially influencing nonlegal variables. 13 references and 6 tables
Main Term(s): Criminology
Index Term(s): Canada; Competency to stand trial; Foreign courts; Psychological evaluation
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