Best Practices in the Evaluation of Competence to Stand Trial
Dr. Patricia Zapf
March 1 – May 9, 2015
30 hours over 10 weeks (includes 10 hours of consultation)
One of the primary foundations of criminal law is that all defendants have a right to a fair trial. Towards this end, upwards of 60,000 evaluations of competency to stand trial are conducted annually in the USA. Research has shown that the opinion of the evaluator in these evaluations is accepted by the courts upwards of 95% of the time. Thus, it is imperative that these evaluations be conducted using best practices. Two important sources have recently been recognized as setting the foundation for best practices in competency evaluation. This training program provides a strong foundation for any mental health professional involved in or wishing to become involved in the evaluation of adjudicative competence.
This training program covers the legal foundations for adjudicative competence, including new developments in the conceptualization of the Dusky standard, as well as practical and theoretical issues in competency evaluation. Competency assessment instruments are reviewed in depth as are report writing and expert testimony.
The trainee is taken through the foundations for competency evaluation, the specific abilities to be evaluated, how to formulate a case conceptualization and ultimate opinion regarding a defendant’s adjudicative competence, how to communicate opinions about competence in the written report and through expert testimony. In addition, participants will engage in one hour of weekly small group consultation with the instructor to discuss current clinical cases and other clinical implementation issues.
About the Instructor
Patricia A. Zapf obtained her PhD in Clinical Forensic psychology from Simon Fraser University in Canada and currently holds the position of Professor in the Department of Psychology at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, The City University of New York. She is the Editor of the American Psychology-Law Society book series; Associate Editor of Law and Human Behavior; and is on the Editorial Boards of 5 journals in psychology and law. Dr. Zapf is on the Board of Directors for the International Association of Forensic Mental Health Services and currently serves as President-Elect for the American Psychology-Law Society (AP-LS; Division 41, APA).
Instructors: Dr. Kevin Douglas & Dr. Stephen Hart
Dates: March 1, 2015 – May 9, 2015 (10 weeks)
20 hours of online training + 10 hours of consultation (1 hour/week)