6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Essential reference tool,
This review is from: Evaluation of Juveniles' Competence to Stand Trial (Best Practices in Forensic Mental Health Assessment) (Paperback)
This little book is an essential reference tool for forensic mental health practitioners who evaluate juveniles, as well as for the attorneys who represent them. You will not find this much comprehensive, up-to-date information on juvenile competency to stand trial (CST) evaluations in any other single source. Despite its jam-packed nature, it is easy to get through in a brief amount of time. That is because it is so clearly written, with charts that help explain the concepts.
Rather than providing a single, dogmatic approach to this challenging area of practice, Kruh and Grisso articulate the strengths and weaknesses of various methods. They carefully cite their sources for each proposition, so that you can easily get further information. Grisso is the number one expert on competency, and the author of the pioneering book Evaluating Competencies: Forensic Assessments and Instruments (Perspectives in Law & Psychology) as well as a manual specific to juvenile competency evaluation. Kruh is also an expert with both research and practice experience in this specialized area.
Unlike another volume in this new "Best Practices in Forensic Mental Health Assessment" series from Oxford University Press that I reviewed here on Amazon, this book does not shy away from complexities and controversies, of which there are many. There is a thorough review, complete with charts and tables, of the different legal standards that may apply to juvenile CST (e.g., the adult norms, adjusted bar, lower bar, and flexible bar approaches). Several pages are devoted to the important controversy surrounding whether evaluators should provide an opinion on the "ultimate issue" of competency. We get a great, up-to-the-moment summary of research and best practices for defining and measuring developmental maturity. The authors provide valuable discussions on such practical matters as the pros and cons of interviewing a youth and his or her caretakers separately or together.
If you read this book and meticulously follow its recommendations in conjunction with co-author Grisso's 2005 Evaluating Juveniles' Adjudicative Competence: A Guide for Clinical Practice (which includes a CD-ROM of interview guides), you can't go wrong.
I would recommend that if you are doing competency evaluations you also check out another strong entry in this series, Evaluation of Competence to Stand Trial (Best Practices for Forensic Mental Health Assessment). The authors, Patricia Zapf and Ronald Roesch, are leaders in the field and the book is another comprehensive yet not overwhelming reference tool.
Evaluation of Juveniles' Competence to Stand Trial (Best Practices in Forensic Mental Health Assessment)(6 customer reviews)