Psychological assessment of competency to stand trial
At the Institute for Transformation and Change, we use standardized competency measures which carefully assesses the individual’s ability to understand their charges, the various aspects of the courtroom process, his or her ability to work with the attorney in an effective manner. Assessments include an evaluation for feigning of incompetence, and any mental deficits or conditions that may interfere with a full understanding of the proceedings; which may or may not require treatment prior to proceeding with a trial.
Mental competency, guardianship, and developmental disability exams.
Our forensic psychologists are able to evaluate an individual’s capacity (Testamentary capacity, Donative capacity, Undue influence, & Financial Capacity). The psychological evaluation includes a review of all relevant historical data, a clinical interview, psychosocial history, past psychological treatment; and include cognitive functioning along with memory capacity (if indicated), functional abilities (driving, living alone, etc) and ability to reason. These factors are important in determining whether an individual is currently capable of making decisions regarding their welfare, finances and if a guardian should be appointed.
Parental Fitness/Psychological evaluations of child abuse.
After an allegation of child abuse has been made, the forensic psychologists at the Institute for Transformation and Change, are available to conduct thorough psychological evaluations of child abuse with the alleged perpetrators, or the child/children who may have been abused. These evaluations typically include clinical interviews with all involved parties and a review of information from all appropriate sources. Psychological tests may be used to assess one’s mental functioning, possible mental health problems, and risk assessment.
Substance abuse/dependence evaluations.
When individuals are charged with crimes associated with drugs and alcohol, the Institute for Transformation and Change is available to provide comprehensive substance abuse evaluations. These evaluations will identify dependency disorders, treatment recommendations, and treatment progress. They will include the defendant’s lifetime conviction history, relapse history, psychological assessments for substance abuse, lifetime treatment history for alcohol and/or drug abuse, support group history, clinical analysis and observations, diagnostic impressions, client prognosis, and continuum of care/recommendations.
Psychological evaluation for Immigration.
Our forensic psychologists are able to conduct psychological evaluations related to immigration proceedings. The psychological evaluation includes a review of all relevant historical data, a clinical interview, psychosocial history, past psychological treatment (if any); and include and risk factors. The results are then presented in a clear, comprehensive psychological report that summarizes all relevant findings.
Criminal Responsibility Evaluations explore an individual’s mental state at the time of the offense and help determine if the accused has a mental disease or defect that may prevent them from appreciating the wrongfulness of their behaviors. In some states, these evaluations are also referred to as “Sanity Evaluations”; “Mental State Evaluations”; and “Responsibility Evaluations” in juvenile proceedings. At the Institute for Transformation and Change, our evaluations include a complete review of the available records and the facts of the case, collateral interviews, and a face-to-face examination of the defendant. The psychological evaluation will also include clinical observations, a history from the defendant, a history from the family of the defendant, screening for possible neuropsychological factors, measures of intelligence, personality factors, diagnostic factors, measures of malingering, and a summary report of the findings.
Assessment of malingering.
At the Institute for Transformation and Change, we provide assessments to determine if an examinee is malingering, or faking symptoms, due to a perceived secondary gain. At times, individuals attempt to feign mental illness to avoid going to trial or to be found criminally insane and therefore not guilty by reason of insanity (NGRI). Another instance in which an examinee may attempt to fake a mental illness is the evaluation of psychological damages in a personal injury lawsuit.
Psychological assessment of mitigating factors.
A psychological evaluation can be an important aspect of a pre-trial or pre-sentencing to assist the court in understanding factors that may have affected the defendant’s judgment, perception, or intent. The psychological evaluation includes a review of all relevant discovery material, a clinical interview, psychosocial history, past psychological treatment, and previous criminal offenses committed. Objective psychological testing is typically conducted to evaluate the presence of not only mental health conditions; but also psychopathy or personality characteristics that may be factors. The results are then presented in a clear, comprehensive psychological report that summarizes all relevant findings for the court.
Workers compensation evaluations.
Psychologists complete Workers Compensation Evaluations to assess emotional harm and mental health conditions resulting from work-related accidents and stress. Our experts are available to evaluate the individual, to assess the job situation, and to evaluate the relationship between the work-related injury or stress and the identified psychological issues.
Evaluation of risk of criminal recidivism.
Our forensic psychologists use standardized measures to assess the risk of recidivism and of violent re-offending in forensic populations. These assessment methods have become increasingly sophisticated and use dispositional, historical, contextual, and clinical factors that are statistically shown to increase the risk of violence, criminality, and aggression. This information is applicable to both criminal proceedings and to related civil and employment matters, such as parental rights cases.
Psychological evaluations of juvenile offenders.
Psychological evaluations of juvenile offenders may be ordered by the court at the request of either the prosecution or the defense, or the defense may elect to have an evaluation completed for the court’s consideration in sentencing. In order to reduce recidivism and provide rehabilitation for juvenile offenders, our thorough psychological evaluations will uncover factors that will help the court to make decisions about the best interests of the juvenile. The report will present conclusions regarding psychological problems associated with the juvenile’s criminal activity, specific recommendations for treatment, and prognosis regarding the likelihood of repeat offenses in the future, with and without treatment.
Juvenile waiver evaluations (transfer to adult court).
A juvenile who is accused of a serious crime can, in certain circumstances, be tried as an adult, in adult criminal court. A psychological evaluation for the purposes of transfer hearings is essential for identifying several factors that may be helpful to the court in making determinations. The five factors include the age of youth, nature of the crime, amenability to treatment and risk.
Evaluation of juvenile competency to stand trial.
As with adult Competency Evaluations, we carefully assess the juvenile’s ability to understand how and why he or she is being charged, the various aspects of the courtroom process, his or her ability to cooperate with the attorney in an effective manner. Evaluations also include an assessment for feigning of incompetence and assess if there any mental deficits or conditions that would prevent the ability to understand the proceedings.