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Forensic Psychology Guidelines and Assessment

Guidelines and Assessment in Forensic Setting

A forensic experiment requires the setting that involves outstanding clarity rates and does not allow for the slightest ambiguity (Specialty guidelines for forensic psychology, 2011). Herein the need to promote impartiality and fairness as the essential elements of the forensic assessment guidelines lies. The specified components as the elements of the forensic environment create the premises for an unbiased assessment.

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However, when it comes to an uncompromised and clear evaluation in the forensic department, I personally find it rather difficult to adhere to the specified guidelines due to the ambiguity of their nature. Particularly, treating all the participants involved in an impartial manner and giving each of them the benefit of the doubt is rather complicated when every single bit of evidence points at a single person (Johnson, 2015). Therefore, I would find it rather complicated not to be judicious when carrying out a corresponding test.

Another important element of conducting an assessment in the forensic environment, the principle of diligence should be brought up (Adams, 2015). It would be wrong to assume that I have problems with being diligent and carrying out every step of the analysis with due care; however, I personally consider it very hard to locate the point, at which no further improvement of the analysis results is necessary. Striving for excellence may seem a positive character trait, yet it makes one get lost in the process of polishing the results and, therefore, take much more time than it actually requires.

Assessment Tool and Instrument Used in Competency to Stand Trial

Evaluating the competency of a defendant to stand trial is one of the crucial stages of making sure that the trial in question is conducted in a fair and unbiased manner (Hanley, 2014). The issue under analysis showcases the necessity to adopt the appropriate tool so that the defendant could receive a fair verdict. Therefore, the tool such as Determination of mental competency to stand trial to undergo postrelease proceedings. 18 U.S. Code § 4241 (2006) should be viewed as an option. The specified state regulation allows for determining the rights of the person, who is mentally incapacitated to make conscious and sane decisions.

In addition, the MacArthur Competency Assessment Tool (Russein, 2015) should be viewed as the primary means of evaluating the defendant’s ability to act in a sane manner. The specified instrument will help determine the ability of the accused to take account of his actions. In other words, the information provided with the help of the instrument in question will serve as the pivoting point in the case, proving that the defendant could not possibly act purposefully.

It should be borne in mind, though, that the instrument mentioned above cannot be viewed as valid on its own. Apart from applying the specified tool to the evaluation of the patient’s condition, one will also have to carry out the clinical judgement so that the conclusion regarding the defendant’s mental stability – or the lack thereof – should be identified: “This tool should be combined with clinical judgment to get a final conclusion on the patient’s competence” (Russein, 2015, p. 18). Based on the specified assessment tool, the defendant cannot be considered accountable for his actions, as he clearly is unable to demonstrate a full understanding of all of his actions or the environment that he is in.


Adams, G. A. (2015). Novel concepts for the application of rapid DNA technology as a sentinel event prophylactic in the criminal justice system. Journal of Forensic research, 6(2), 278–282.

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Determination of mental competency to stand trial to undergo postrelease proceedings. 18 U.S. Code § 4241 (2006).

Hanley, M. W. (2014). Juvenile competency adjudication in California criminal court: A defense attorney’s participation and observation of a criminal competency trial. Web.

Johnson, J. A. (2015). Police psychologists as expert witnesses in appeal hearings: Testimony for disqualified applicants and fitness-for-duty forensic psychological evaluations.. Journal of Forensic research, 6(2), 270–277.

Russein, A. (2015). Patient competence in obsessive-compulsive disorder. The Netherlands: Drukwerk.

Specialty guidelines for forensic psychology. (2011). Web.

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"Forensic Psychology Guidelines and Assessment." StudyCorgi, 25 Dec. 2021,

1. StudyCorgi. "Forensic Psychology Guidelines and Assessment." December 25, 2021.


StudyCorgi. "Forensic Psychology Guidelines and Assessment." December 25, 2021.


StudyCorgi. 2021. "Forensic Psychology Guidelines and Assessment." December 25, 2021.


StudyCorgi. (2021) 'Forensic Psychology Guidelines and Assessment'. 25 December.

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