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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 51273 Find in a Library
Title: BRIEF, IMMEDIATE SCREENING INTERVIEW TO DETERMINE COMPETENCY TO STAND TRIAL - A FEASIBILITY STUDY
Journal: CRIMINAL JUSTICE AND BEHAVIOR  Volume:5  Issue:3  Dated:(SEPTEMBER 1978)  Pages:241-248
Author(s): R ROESCH
Corporate Author: Sage Publications, Inc
United States of America
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 8
Sponsoring Agency: National Clearinghouse for Criminal Justice Planning and Architecture
Champaign, IL 61820
Sage Publications, Inc
Thousand Oaks, CA 91320
Simon Fraser University
Burnaby, BC V5A 1S6, Canada
Sale Source: Simon Fraser University
Centre for Restorative Justice
School of Criminology
Burnaby, BC V5A 1S6,
Canada
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: A SCREENING INTERVIEW IS TESTED AS AN ALTERNATIVE TO TRADITIONAL HOSPITAL-BASED DETERMINATIONS OF COMPETENCY TO STAND TRIAL. THE COMMUNITY-BASED INTERVIEW IS FOUND SATISFACTORY AND INEXPENSIVE.
Abstract: AFTER DISCUSSING THE PROBLEMS WHICH CAN OCCUR WITH INSTITUTIONALLY-BASED PSYCHIATRIC EVALUATION OF COMPETENCY TO STAND TRIAL, A STUDY IS DESCRIBED WHICH TESTS A COMMUNITY-BASED EVALUATION SYSTEM. THE MAJOR PROBLEMS OF HOSPITAL EVALUATIONS ARE COST, A FAILURE TO ADEQUATELY ADDRESS THE LEGAL QUESTIONS INVOLVED IN COMPETENCY DETERMINATION, AND MISUSE OF THE PROCEDURE TO DELAY TRIAL. THE STUDY USED DOUBLE EVALUATION OF 30 DEFENDANTS REFERRED TO DOROTHEA DIX HOSPITAL, RALEIGH, N.C., BETWEEN MARCH 1 AND MAY 15, 1976. FIRST FOUR TEAMS, EACH CONSISTING OF TWO TRAINED MENTAL HEALTH PROFESSIONALS, EVALUATED THE DEFENDANTS AFTER INTERVIEWS TAKING ABOUT 30 MINUTES APIECE. THEN THE DEFENDANTS WERE EVALUATED BY HOSPITAL STAFF. THERE WAS COMPLETE AGREEMENT BETWEEN EVALUATIONS FOR 25 OF THE 27 DEFENDANTS JUDGED COMPETENT BY HOSPITAL STAFF AND FOR 2 OF THE 3 FOUND INCOMPETENT BY THE HOSPITAL. THIS HIGH RATE OF AGREEMENT POINTS TO THE FACT THAT MOST DECISIONS ABOUT COMPETENCY ARE STRAIGHTFORWARD AND THAT HOSPITALIZATION IS NOT NECESSARY. ALSO, THE OUT-PATIENT INTERVIEWS FOCUSED ON LEGAL ASPECTS OF COMPETENCY, THE PERSON'S ABILITY TO UNDERSTAND THE LEGAL PROCEEDINGS AND PARTICIPATE IN THE DEFENSE. THIS STUDY INDICATES THAT A SMALL NUMBER OF CASES MAY REQUIRE FURTHER EVALUATION, BUT THAT COMMUNITY-BASED INTERVIEWS CAN REDUCE BOTH THE DELAY AND THE COST OF COMPETENCY EVALUATIONS. REFERENCES ARE APPENDED. (GLR)
Index Term(s): Alternatives to institutionalization; Competency to stand trial; Insanity defense; North Carolina; Psychological evaluation; Studies
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=51273

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