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Competency Evaluation Controversies

The usual controversies start off dealing with the term competency for one. Ever since it was established by the landmark case Dusky v. 1960, the word has evolved and now has stricter terms as it relates to the judicial system (Westendorf 2010). We also have to look at the controversies that reliability, validity, and biases create when administering a competency evaluation. The tests that are given to find the level of competency vary and here are a few of those. The reliability for the CST evaluation ranges from ninety two to ninety four percent and only eight percent validity.

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There is also the Georgia Court Competency test which yields a test and retest reliability of seventy nine percent, an internal consistency reliability of eighty nine percent, and an interrater reliability of ninety six percent. It also produces predictive validity of seventy five percent. There is also the CAI it manufactures interrater reliability of ninety two percent for raters who are experience and eighty seven percent for persons of less experience. This particular assessment does not produce much validity data to reference.

We can further discuss the Interdisciplinary Fitness Interview this has reliability from two viewpoints within interrater reliability. There is forty to ninety percent when looking at the evaluation in terms of more psychopathological items whether than the legal ones. The validity within this test is constructed and it shows a seventy six percent rate (Westendorf 2010). Forensic psychology professionals should try to eliminate all bias when administering these tests and try to come up with a common ground to increase the reliability and validity of these evaluations.

As stated before a forensic psychology professional must eliminate all biases when administering these types of tests. They should also let them know that everything that they say may not be kept confidential. They must also make sure that they are qualified to administer the evaluation (just because you are licensed does not mean that you can administer and interpret every assessment out there). The legal standard stems from Dusky v. United States it was during this trial when the issue of competency was first introduced.

It was then upheld in Drope V. Missouri. Psycholegal questions that arise are rather to style competency evaluations ideographically or nomothetically. It is best to weigh the options of both and come up with the insight that you can relate to and understand more before administering the evaluation. Westerndorf, M. (2010). Five essentials of competency to stand trial assessment. . In A. Kaufman (Ed. ), Essentials of forensic psychological assessment (pp. 112-145). Hoboken, NY: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

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