Five year research update (1996-2000): evaluations for competence to stand trial (adjudicative competence)

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Psychiatry



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Medical Subject Headings

Adolescent; Adult; Child; Crime; Criminal Law; Evaluation Studies as Topic; Female; Forensic Psychiatry; Guidelines as Topic; Humans; Male; Mental Competency




This article reviews and evaluates publications during 1996-2000 with relevance for assessments of competence to stand trial (also known as adjudicative competence). The review focuses specifically on articles that provide new concepts or data supported by research or case analyses. The studies are reviewed under the following headings: (i) the systemic context of evaluations of adjudicative competence (AC); (ii) conceptual guidelines for AC evaluations; (iii) research on AC assessment methods; (iv) empirical correlates of AC judgments and psycholegal abilities; (v) quality of AC evaluations and reports; (vi) interpretation of AC evaluation data; (vii) issues in AC assessment of special populations (e.g., juveniles, persons with mental retardation, and women); and (viii) treatment to restore competence. Suggestions are offered for further research to advance the quality of clinical evaluations of adjudicative competence.

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Citation: Behav Sci Law. 2003;21(3):329-50. Link to article on publisher's site

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