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Model Process for Forensic Mental Health Screening and Evaluation

NCJ Number
Law and Behavior Volume: 8 Issue: 3/4 Dated: (1984) Pages: 355-369
I Keilitz
Date Published
15 pages
This article describes an operational definition and a model process for forensic mental health examinations developed on the bases of field research, reviews of literature and other documentary materials, and a survey of forensic mental health programs.
Forensic mental health screening and evaluation is defined as the process conducted by mental health personnel, at the direction of criminal justice authorities, for the purposes of delineating, acquiring, and providing information about the mental condition of client -- offenders that is useful in decisionmaking in the the criminal justice system. The proposed model encompasses 14 pragmatically oriented steps within three major structural components of the examination process -- delineation, acquisition, and provision -- in a manner that places the entire process in the functional context of the criminal justice and mental health systems. The definition and model are aimed at practitioners, program evaluators, and policymakers to be used as a starting point for the establishment of standards against which the practices and policies relating to forensic mental health screening and evaluation can be compared and improved. Twenty-five references are listed. (Author abstract modified)