PSYCHOLOGICAL ASSESSMENT AND REPORT FOR COURT

 

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What is a Court report

Court reports are based on psychological evaluation and are intended to assist the courts in determining decisions regarding family, civil, or criminal matters, require a detailed, situation-specific assessment strategy which goes beyond the typical psychological evaluation completed for clinical purposes:

  • The summary and conclusions must relate directly to the legal issues of the case.
  • The relationship between psychological factors and the legal issues should be described.
  • The findings should reflect standard psychological practice.
  • Research that supports the expert’s conclusions should be noted.
  • Treatment recommendations should reflect services available in the community.
  • Implementation of the recommendations must be possible within the of the legal system.
  • Recommendations should be clearly stated without professional jargon.

After completing a forensic evaluation, psychologists should be able to logically defend their conclusions, using explanations which are understandable to non-psychologists. Psychological experts must be able to explain complex psychological issues to non-psychologists, whether it be to a judge or to a jury, as the finder of fact. The issues should be presented in clear and simple language. The conclusions and recommendations of the expert should assist the fact finder in reaching a decision, and should not add confusion to that process.

For these reasons, psychologists who complete forensic evaluations should have a broad clinical background, excellent assessment skills, superior communication skills, and experience in completing psychological evaluations in a legal setting.

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