Jails Are NOT the Largest Mental Institutions in the US?

Posted in: May 2013

The focus of this blog and indeed the Best Practices Project overall is clearly on issues of competency to stand trial or adjudicative competency.  Nonetheless, we are also speaking within the context of mental illness more broadly and how effectively it is addressed by our criminal justice system and our broader communities.  It is in...

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What Is THE Definitive Test for Competence to Stand Trial?

Posted in: April 2013

In an earlier post, we discussed Dr. Michael H. Fogel’s “Ten Year Research Update (2001–2010): Evaluations for Competence to Stand Trial (Adjudicative Competence)”, in Behavioral Sciences and the Law.  In that update, Dr. Fogel spends some time discussing advances in the screening and assessment tools used during competency evaluations.  He highlights that the three new...

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Mental Incompetence and Not Guilty By Reason of Insanity: Idaho’s Struggle to Find the Right Balance

Posted in: March 2013

The Times-News in Idaho printed an interesting article about that state’s ban on insanity defenses and the impact it has had on competency hearings and the mentally ill.  “In Idaho, Those Declared Incompetent to Stand Trial End Up in Limbo” discusses Idaho’s abolition of the use of the insanity defense in state court in the...

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What Makes for a Good Competency Evaluation Report to the Court?

Posted in: April 2013

Dr. Michael H. Fogel from the Chicago School of Professional Psychology and colleagues published earlier this year, “Ten Year Research Update (2001–2010): Evaluations for Competence to Stand Trial (Adjudicative Competence)”, in Behavioral Sciences and the Law.  This article reviews the research literature on adjudicative competence or competence to stand trial over the span of a...

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Competency in Canada and the US: Very Different Standards Yet Oddly Similar Effects

Posted in: March 2013

“Google Alerts” is one of the tools I use to stay current on the issue of competence to stand trial.  Usually it serves me quite well, but this time around it led me down an odd and circuitous road beginning with a scholarly article by Patricia Zapf and Ronal Roesch that it labeled as being...

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