PSYCHOLOGICAL ASSESSMENT AND REPORT FOR COURT
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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