Psychological assessment is an extremely vital exercise for an individual or the community at large. It ensures that the courts give a fair ruling. There are different issues that could arise when conducting a psychological assessment in the community. This paper discusses issues that could arise when carrying out an assessment.
Competency of an individual is substantial in the court (Adler, 2004). The psychologist evaluates the mind of an individual and states if the defendant can face trial. In case the defendant is incompetent, the psychologist writes to the court to request time to prepare the defendant for legal proceedings. Additionally, psychologist appraises possibility of malingering by the defendant who might fake mental illness or exaggerate symptoms of the disease.
Furthermore, for the court to determine whether the defendant is guilty or not, it uses the psychologist to evaluate sanity (Adler, 2004). This involves studying the mental thinking of the defendant during the time of crime. In the event the defendant’s mind was impaired at the time of crime, the court has no other option but to set him free. The psychologist also assesses the risk of the defendant repeating the crime. After analyzing the peril, the psychologists advise the court on appropriate action that it could take on the defendant.
Different states have provided a certain age limit for one to be regarded as juvenile. For instance, Virginia and other sixteen states choose fourteen years, Kansas and Vermont are for ten years. Scientific research indicates that brains of juvenile are not fully developed; thus, there are possibilities of making confessions that in turn work against them in the court (Conference on Public Service and Law, 2005). For instance, in the year 1989, teens aged between fifteen and sixteen years were falsely accused in the central park jogger rape case even though there was no physical evidence with connection. According to research, most juveniles believe that telling the prosecutors what they require might set them free, but this is pressure from officers to gunner sufficient evidence against the juvenile. Therefore, in order for the judiciary to give a affair ruling in the court the quality and nature of qualifications is extremely imperative. There is an absolute need for the parent or attorney to be present when officers are carrying out investigations on the children. The parent or attorney aids in scrutinizing the confessions and evidence that is extremely significant in the court of justice. Bearing in mind that the young ones are not competent, the parent, or attorney protects them from pressure to confess falsely.
Histrionic personality disorder affects the competency evaluation. There is the likelihood of unstable emotional disorder to the individuals that face this problem. Their emotions are longer than others, deeply and easy (Bootzin and Acocella, 1984). This affects the level of competency as the psychologist finds it difficult to establish the real emotion of the person in question. There is also a case of mood disorder whereby the client mood keeps on changing. This includes depressing disorder and bipolar disorder (Bootzin and Acocella, 1984). This requires the psychologist to wait till the mood of the client stabilizes before he can carry out any diagnosis. In the event of the psychologist conducts his assessment on a suspect suffering from bipolar disorder, there is the possibility of him/her recording misleading results. Histrionic individuals find it hard to narrate events that were horrifying, and they are likely to faint if they watch blood related movies; thus, psychologists should distinguish such individuals who go to prodigious lengths of committing suicide. If not, the competency evaluation may be compromised.
Adler, J. (2004). Forensic Psychology: Concepts, debates and practice. Cullompton: Willan
Bootzin, R., and Acocella, J. (1984). Abnormal Psychology. New York: Random House.
Conference On Public Service and Law.(2005). Standards Needed For Juvenile Confessions. Retrieved on February 16th 2005 from http://www.law.virginia.edu/html/news/2005spr/ps/juvenile.htm.