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Criminal Trials and Mental Disorders$
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Thomas Hafemeister

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781479804856

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479804856.001.0001

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Overview of Forensic Mental Health Assessments

Overview of Forensic Mental Health Assessments

(p.43) 2 Overview of Forensic Mental Health Assessments
Criminal Trials and Mental Disorders

Thomas L. Hafemeister

NYU Press

Chapter 2 presents an overview of forensic mental health assessments and their deployment within the criminal justice system. This chapter describes how forensic mental health assessments are conducted, the multiple steps taken in the course of these assessments, and the challenges and tensions associated with providing them within the criminal justice system. In addition, it delineates their distinctive nature and how they differ from clinical evaluations and mental health treatment. This chapter also discusses a key question that frequently arises in conjunction with these assessments, namely, distinguishing a genuine report of a mental disorder and its impact from malingering (i.e., the faking of an illness), and strategies for making this distinction.

Keywords:   forensic mental health assessments, overview, how conducted, multiple steps, challenges and tensions, distinctive nature, comparison to clinical evaluations, malingering

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