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PSY 4470 W4 Assignment Forensic Assessment

PSY 4470 W4 Assignment Forensic Assessment


Forensic assessment is the broader term for a mental health evaluation. This evaluation is mostly conducted in cases like child custody, sexual assault, DUI evaluation, and murder or as ordered by the court. The goal is to find out about the history of an individual and based on the feedback by the evaluator; the court announces its verdict. The test helps the defense attorney to prepare the case accordingly.

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The legal system commonly orders forensic assessment; an individual or a patient cannot seek this assessment by himself or herself. In some cases, an individual does not want to undergo the evaluation that could further complicate the matter. To identify the psychological issues of the person, forensic assessments are considered more common than therapeutic assessment – a test requested by an individual.

Forensic Assessment Guidelines

The mental health professionals perform the forensic assessment. Recently, there has been an increase in the graduating psychology students, which shows the popularity of the field. However, there are specific guidelines that need to be followed when performing the assessment.

The conclusion of the test should be based on the scientific data with recommendations and evidence to support the results. The data collected by the examiner must be valid and carefully reported in the document. It is an examiners responsibility to use different methods and techniques to evaluate the psychological behavior of an individual. The report plays an integral role in the court’s verdict.

Why Conducting Forensic Assessment?

The forensic evolution is ordered by the court to see what was the mental state of the person when he or she was committing a crime. For example, if a person was driving a car and he/she hits and kills the pedestrian, was the person guilty? This was the case of reckless driving or driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. In this situation, the crime took place, but it was unintentional.

Another example is of a person committing a murder who is mentally unstable. In this case, a person unknowingly committed a crime, so was he responsible? Alternatively, was he mentally unfit?

In both the cases, the court’s verdict depends on the criminal psychological behavior. The forensic assessment is meant to provide the results based on the evaluation and help the court. A mental health forensic interview can consist of different evaluations. The assessment may be part of expert witness testimony in a criminal or civil trial, or it may be an independent assessment for an attorney or insurance company, employer, or disability provider.

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