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NCJ Number: NCJ 134041     Find in a Library
Title: Prediction of Competency to Stand Trial: Contribution of Demographics, Type of Offense, Clinical Characteristics, and Psycholegal Ability
Author(s): R A Nicholson ; W G Johnson
  Journal: International Journal of Law and Psychiatry  Volume:14  Dated:(1991)  Pages:287-297
Date Published: 1991
Page Count: 11
  Annotation: The importance of demographics, type of offense, clinical characteristics, and psycholegal ability in predicting decisions about competency were examined in 261 defendants at the forensic units at Mississippi State Hospital for pretrial evaluation.
Abstract: Age and gender were not significantly correlated with decisions about competency to stand trial, although the direction of the relationships was consistent with that observed previously. Race, on the other hand did exhibit a statistically significant, though modest, correlation with competency judgements. However, demographic characteristics, whether treated individually or as a set, were not related to competency judgements after other variables in the analysis were controlled. Offense type was uncorrelated with competency either before or after controlling for other variables in the analysis. In contrast, both psycholegal ability and psychopathology were predictive of competency decisions. Although the latter is of paramount importance, the assessment of mental status and psychiatric diagnosis are also important because the presence of psychopathology provides a legitimate basis. The present investigation extends knowledge of the relationship between dependent characteristics and competency judgments and also documents the need for researchers to explore other factors that may influence the decision-making process. 6 notes and 26 references
Main Term(s): Prediction ; Competency to stand trial
Index Term(s): Offense classification ; Demography ; Psychological evaluation ; Mississippi
Type: Survey
Country: United States of America
Language: English
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