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FORENSIC VS. PSYCHOLOGICAL EVALUATION
WHAT MAKES A FORENSIC PSYCHOLOGIST
CUSTODY EVALUATION
CRIMINAL RESPONSIBILITY
COMPETENCY TO STAND TRIAL
PERSONAL INJURY EVALUATION
CRIMINAL SEXUAL CONDUCT
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Criminal Sexual Conduct

Charges of criminal sexual conduct or child abuse can be devastating to an individual and his/her family. Since these charges most often involve allegations of inappropriate sexual behavior toward children, it is particularly important that justice be served. The difficulty of evaluating the defendant on these charges arises primarily because the alleged behavior often takes place in secret. Because of this, such charges often become a case of He said/she said. Evaluations regarding issues of criminal sexual conduct alsoare made difficult by the fact that there is no recognized sexual offender profile that arises from psychological/personality assessment or testing.

Because of the complexities involved in such an evaluation, it is essential that an appropriate, thorough, and balanced assessment be undertaken. In this type of evaluation, collateral data is essential. Psychological test data may help determine the defendant psychological state at the time of the alleged offense but cannot definitively determine whether or not the alleged conduct actually occurred to any degree of psychological or legal certainty. It is important to integrate the psychological data with interviews of parties including the alleged victim. In many cases, the alleged victim will not be available for interview. Thus, transcripts of previous interviews and police reports become essential. Interviews with other third parties can help determine the relative veracity of the victim and defendant. Collateral data such as police reports, court records, and mental health records help round out the overall picture that makes the most sense out of the data.

The current standards of professional care regarding forensic evaluations requires not only the administration of appropriate and statistically relevant psychological tests, but also requires the use of multiple data points arising from collateral data. Dr. Kitchen typically utilizes some or all of the following data in a forensic evaluation of criminal sexual conduct.

Dr. Kitchen makes every effort to determine at the best possible fit for the data in light of the charges. All reports address the psychological data in terms of the legal criteria regarding issues of criminal sexual conduct. All reports are written in order to be meaningful to the court and to minimize psychological jargon where possible.