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Psychology in the Courts

Consequences of Inadequate/Incorrect Criminal Psychological Evaluations No one would argue the seriousness and importance of properly conducting forensic psychological evaluations and using appropriate evaluation methods when working with the courts. For instance, in civil trials, money is often at stake. In juvenile courts, the potential rehabilitation of the accused, which will in turn affect the greater good of society, is an issue of concern.


Criminal courts, on the other hand, are often the setting for the most serious outcomes of inadequate or incorrect evaluations, which in certain cases can be someone’s life. For this reason, criminal courts require the highest level of proof (beyond a reasonable doubt) of the trier of fact (a judge or jury). Forensic psychological evaluations are serious matters that can have serious consequences. In this Discussion, you analyze what happens when forensic psychological evaluations are done either inadequately or incorrectly. To prepare for this Discussion:


· Review the assigned chapters in your course text Psychological Evaluations for the Courts. Focus on the different forensic psychological evaluations applicable to criminal courts. Reflect on the consequences of an inadequate and/or incorrect evaluation in this setting.


· Think about real-life examples (contemporary or historical) in which criminal forensic psychological evaluations were inadequate and/or incorrect. You may search for examples using the Internet, library, or other resources.


· Reflect on the consequences of inadequate evaluations or incorrect use of evaluations.


· Select two real-life examples to use for this Discussion.


With these thoughts in mind: Post by Day 4 a brief description of the two real-life examples you selected. Then explain the consequences of inadequate and/or incorrect forensic psychological evaluations in criminal matters. Finally, use the examples you selected to illustrate and justify your points. Be specific and reference the Learning Resources.

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