skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 99177 Find in a Library
Title: Competency to Stand Trial
Author(s): D Whitcomb; R L Brandt
Corporate Author: Abt Associates, Inc
United States of America
Date Published: 1985
Page Count: 20
Sponsoring Agency: Abt Associates, Inc
Cambridge, MA 02138
National Institute of Justice (NIJ)
Washington, DC 20531
National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
US Dept of Justice NIJ Pub
Washington, DC 20531
Contract Number: J-LEAA-011-81
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America

National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS Publication Sales
Box 6000 Department F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America
Document: PDF
Dataset: DATASET 1
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This policy brief is intended to guide State legislatures in ensuring compliance with the U.S. Supreme Court's standards for competency determinations and to assist mental health professionals in evaluating defendants without unnecessarily hospitalizing them or unduly delaying the trial process.
Abstract: One section of the brief reviews the key legal elements and structural features pertaining to competency evaluations. Florida is identified as one State that has enacted a statute and accompanying court rules that specify competency determination procedures conforming to U.S. Supreme Court standards set in Dusky v. United States (1960). Florida's pertinent rules of criminal procedure are outlined, and the full text of Florida's statute and court rules is presented in the appendix. The description and charting of three structural approaches to competency evaluations encompass (1) inpatient assessment with no screening, (2) outpatient screening with inpatient assessment, and (3) outpatient screening with outpatient assessment. Phases in the process of obtaining defendant mental health evaluations, as defined by Ingo Keilitz, are described. These include requesting a competency evaluation, gathering data, and submitting a report. Another section of the brief reviews the benefits that can be derived from a revised competency evaluation process: (1) clarification of purpose and expected outcome, (2) speedier case flow, (3) reduced cost, and (4) a consistent approach to the evaluation process. An agenda is set for reform action. Twenty-four references are listed.
Index Term(s): Competency to stand trial; Court rules; Psychological evaluation; State laws; US Supreme Court decisions
Note: National Institute of Justice Policy Brief
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.