Handbook of Forensic Assessment: Psychological and Psychiatric Perspectives
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More About This Title Handbook of Forensic Assessment: Psychological and Psychiatric Perspectives


The first handbook to explore forensic assessment from psychiatric and psychological perspectives

"The editors have assembled a magnificent collaboration between psychiatrists and psychologists to bring forth critical knowledge and insight to the core competency of forensic assessment. This handbook is essential reading and a comprehensive resource for both newly minted and seasoned forensic practitioners."
Robert I. Simon, MD, Director, Program in Psychiatry and Law, Georgetown University School of Medicine

"This long-awaited resource blows the dust off traditional standards, shakes the cobwebs out of our old ways of thinking, and shows the practical steps in producing work that will make sense to juries and withstand the most skillful cross-examination. . . . [T]here is no better resource."
Kenneth S. Pope, PhD, ABPP, Diplomate in Clinical Psychology; coauthor, Ethics in Psychotherapy and Counseling, Fourth Edition

"From preparation to collection to interpretation to communication of the results, this excellent, comprehensive treasure shows how to conduct forensic assessments. Each splendid evidence-based chapter is presented from the collaboration between psychologists and psychiatrists. It is a must-have resource for forensic experts as well as general practitioners or anyone wishing to understand standard of care in forensic assessment."
Melba Vasquez, PhD, ABPP, 2011 American Psychological Association President

The practitioner-oriented coverage in the Handbook of Forensic Assessment examines:

  • The current state of psychology and psychiatry—including requisite clinical competencies, ethical guidelines, and considerations of multidisciplinary collaboration

  • Various approaches to assessments in criminal and civil matters

  • The principles of effective preparation, data collection, and interpretation, as well as communication for each special situation

  • Topics including competence to stand trial, sexual offender evaluations, addictions, child abuse, and education

  • Overarching practice issues, such as practice development, retention, compensation, consultation, and forensic treatment

  • Includes sample reports that demonstrate the integrative potential of both psychology and psychiatry

Incorporating a wealth of current and multidisciplinary research, the Handbook of Forensic Assessment is destined to become every mental health professional's most valuable one-stop reference for their forensic work.


ERIC Y. DROGIN, JD, PHD, ABPP, is a Diplomate and former President of the American Board of Forensic Psychology and a Fellow of the American Academy of Forensic Psychology.  He serves on the faculties of the Harvard Medical School and the Harvard Longwood Psychiatry Residency Training Program, and teaches courses in law and mental health for the University of New Hampshire School of Law and the University of Wales.  He is the author of several books, chapters, and articles addressing the interface of psychology, psychiatry, and law.

FRANK M. DATTILIO, PHD, ABPP, holds a dual faculty position in psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.  He has published widely and has testified in numerous state and federal jurisdictions for the prosecution and the defense, and has served in numerous court appointments in criminal cases.  He has consulted on cases for the United States Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation and is a prolific author and international speaker.

ROBERT L. SADOFF, MD, is Clinical Professor of Forensic Psychiatry and serves as Director of the Forensic Psychiatry Fellowship Program at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.  He is board certified in psychiatry, forensic psychiatry, and legal medicine.  Dr. Sadoff has conducted over 10,000 forensic psychiatric examinations, has lectured throughout the United States and several countries abroad, and is a prolific writer, having authored or coauthored several books including Forensic Psychiatry: A Practical Guide for Lawyers and Psychiatrists, Psychiatric Malpractice: Cases and Comments for Clincians—winner of the 1993 Manfred S. Guttmacher Award—and Ethical Issues in Forensic Psychiatry: Minimizing Harm.

THOMAS G. GUTHEIL, MD, is a Professor of Psychiatry at the Harvard Medical School and an internationally known lecturer, writer, and consultant on medicolegal issues, risk management, and malpractice prevention.  He is a founder of the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center Program in Psychiatry and Law, currently serves as the President of the International Academy of Law and Mental Health, and is the author or coauthor of several books in the areas of law and medicine, including the Clinical Hand-book of Psychiatry and the Law—winner of the 1983 Manfred S. Guttmacher Award—now in its Fourth Edition.


Foreword vii

Preface xi

Contributors xiii


1 Competence to Stand Trial 3
Kathleen P. Stafford and Robert L. Sadoff

2 Competency to Waive Miranda Rights 25
Elliot L. Atkins and Kenneth J. Weiss

3 Sentencing 49
Elliot L. Atkins and Clarence Watson

4 Competency Restoration 79
Steven E. Samuel and Timothy J. Michals

5 Sex Offender Evaluations 97
Philip H. Witt, Frank M. Dattilio, and John M. W. Bradford

6 Criminal Responsibility 121
Robert L. Sadoff and Frank M. Dattilio

7 Capital Litigation: Special Considerations 145
Alan M. Goldstein and Harold J. Bursztajn

8 Diminished Capacity in Federal Sentencing 171
Gerald Cooke and Henry R. Bleier

9 Testimonial Capacity 187
Randy K. Otto, Robert L. Sadoff, and Amanda M. Fanniff

10 Postconviction Proceedings 205
Aderonke Oguntoye and Eric Y. Drogin

11 Juvenile Delinquency and Decertification 227
Frank M. Dattilio and Laurentine Fromm

12 Addictions 255
Curtis L. Barrett and Richard F. Limoges


13 Personal Injury: The Independent Medical Examination in Psychology and Psychiatry 277
Laurence Miller, Robert L. Sadoff, and Frank M. Dattilio

14 Employment Discrimination and Harassment 303
Liza H. Gold and William J. Stejskal

15 Structural and Clinical Assessment of Risk of Violence 335
Kenneth Tardiff and Dawn M. Hughes

16 Child Abuse and Neglect 361
Gillian Blair and Annie G. Steinberg

17 Abuse and Neglect of Adults 391
Carla Rodgers and Mark Siegert

18 Education and Habilitation 417
Mark J. Hauser, Robert F. Putnam, and Gregory I. Young

19 Child Custody and Parental Fitness 433
Gerald Cooke and Donna M. Norris

20 Americans With Disabilities Act Evaluations 459
Lisa Drago Piechowski and Urrooj Rehman

21 Civil Commitment 479
David F. Mrad and Clarence Watson

22 Competency to Consent to Treatment 503
Nicole Foubister and Mary Connell

23 Guardianship 521
Eric Y. Drogin and Thomas G. Gutheil

24 Psychiatric and Psychological Malpractice 543
Eric Y. Drogin and Donald J. Meyer

25 Fitness for Duty 571
Lisa Drago Piechowski and Albert M. Drukteinis

26 Psychological Autopsy 593
Frank M. Dattilio and Robert L. Sadoff


27 Developing and Operating a Forensic Practice 615
Stanley L. Brodsky and William H. Reid

28 Interstate Practice 649
Robert L. Sadoff and Frank M. Dattilio

29 Conceptualization and Assessment of Malingering 659
Richard Rogers and Robert P. Granacher, Jr.

30 Transcultural Considerations 679
Seema Garg, Frank M. Dattilio, and Pietro Miazzo

Appendix A Scientific Glossary 697

Appendix B Legal Glossary 727

Appendix C Compendium of Cited Psychological Tests 745

Appendix D Sample Reports 751

Psychiatric Evaluation—Juvenile Decertification 751

Psychological Evaluation—Juvenile Decertification 758

Preliminary Report on Psychology Board Complaint by Ms. B Against A, PhD 777

Author Index 789

Subject Index 797


"Overall, the Handbook of Forensic Assessment is a clear and informative resource that delivers what its title promises. Forensic psychiatrists should find it a helpful addition to their libraries that they will refer to again and again in the course of their work." (Edward Poa, MD, Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law 40:4:587-589, December 2012)

"There is much within this fine text that is worthy of praise given the contribution these editors and their chapter contributors have made to the academic and practitioner community alike in the field of forensic mental health assessments. Drogin, Dattilio, Sadoff, and Gutheil are to be commended for an invaluable and useful contribution to the field of forensic mental health as forensic psychiatrists and psychologists will derive considerable benefit from this book. It is a text that is highly recommended for practitioners and academics alike." (International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology, September 2012)