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ERIC Number: ED317944
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1990-May-11
Pages: 19
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Clinical Issues in the Assessment of Adolescent Defendants.
Cornell, Dewey G.
There are many practical difficulties in conducting forensic evaluations of adolescents charged with serious crimes. This paper addresses some of the reasons why adolescent forensic evaluations are problematic and suggests four strategies for establishing and maintaining rapport, based on a practitioner's experience in evaluating adolescents charged with rape, homicide, and other serious offenses. In interviewing adolescent defendants, the mental health professional is advised to: (1) review the purpose of the evaluation in detail; (2) clarify his or her role in the evaluation; (3) show respect for the adolescent; and (4) be as straightforward and upfront with opinions as possible. The paper notes that the key issue in most forensic evaluations is the defendant's account of the offense and cautions those conducting forensic evaluations never to settle for the adolescent's first account. Extreme denial, claimed amnesia, and attempts to disguise the offense are cited as three common characteristics of adolescents' accounts of offenses that can make it difficult to reconstruct what happened. (TE)
Publication Type: Guides - General; Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Practitioners
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A