Explain why such legal standards are important for our judicial system. What information may assist in understanding the defendant’s capacity to control his or her behavior at the time of the offense?

Assignment 1: Standards and Tests for Criminal Responsibility

Criminal responsibility (insanity) assessments play a significant role in forensic psychological assessment, and information about them is directly relevant to the psycholegal assessment questions on the comprehensive exam.

Tasks:

Using resources from the professional literature, research legal standards and assessment tools used with the criminally insane population. The literature may include the Argosy University online library resources, relevant textbooks, peer-reviewed journal articles, and websites created by professional organizations, agencies, or institutions (.edu and .gov).

In a minimum of 300 words, address the following:

  • Identify and discuss at least two legal standards for insanity in a criminal defendant.
  • Explain why such legal standards are important for our judicial system. What information may assist in understanding the defendant’s capacity to control his or her behavior at the time of the offense?
  • Describe at least one type of assessment instrument for criminal responsibility. What is the research support for utilization of these instruments?
  • What is the difference between a legal standard for insanity and a psychological assessment instrument?

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