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Forensic Psychology

Psychological Evaluations: Justice-involved Individuals

Justice-involved individuals with a history of diagnosed (or possible) intellectual disability may need a current psychological evaluation to measure intellectual and adaptive functioning. Such evaluations do not address questions such as trial competence, criminal responsibility or sentencing needs. Rather, they are conducted to provide attorneys and their clients with:

  • a current measure of relevant functioning, to help determine rehabilitation needs
  • to assist in restoring benefits when appropriate
  • to make placement recommendations

The evaluation involves the administration of standard measures of intellectual and adaptive functioning and includes a report describing the findings.

Psychological Evaluations: Universities and Colleges

Universities and colleges in the greater Philadelphia region occasionally encounter a student or staff member who appears to present a possible threat of serious harm to others. In such cases, it may be appropriate to obtain a psychological evaluation from an independent professional. Such an evaluation would appraise:

  • the seriousness of the risk
  • identify appropriate interventions to reduce the risk provide recommendations about the indicated next steps in light of this information

Part of this evaluation process involves communicating the results to referring institutions in order to facilitate informed decision-making on both the needs of the evaluee and in the interests of the referring university or college.

JUROR SUPPORT PROGRAM

The Juror Support Program (JSP) is a program geared for individuals who experience distress following their participation in jury duty. Distress may include symptoms that relate to:

  • Posttraumatic Stress
  • Acute Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Depression

The JSP consists of an initial evaluation to better understand individuals’ unique concerns, and if appropriate, treatment utilizing interventions that all have a scientific basis for addressing stress reactions. For individuals who have served on a jury in the United States District Court for the Eastern Circuit of Pennsylvania, the JSP has dedicated time slots and up to 6 free sessions. For individuals who have served on other juries, services are available on a sliding scale fee.

For more information about how some people may respond to serving on a jury, and what to do when you think you might want to talk to someone about those reactions, please read these frequently asked questions.