LASA: Evaluation Of A Forensic Psychological Report

Assignment 2: LASA: Evaluation of a Forensic Psychological Report

This course has provided you with a foundational knowledge of forensic psychological assessment. Successful integration of your skills is a significant aspect of this course. Throughout this course, you have learned about the variety of forensic psychological assessments.

In this assignment, apply what you have learned in this course to analyze a report of a recently paroled offender.

Scenario:

You are working as a forensic mental health professional in a parole outpatient clinic, which has received a forensic psychological and risk assessment report on a paroled offender. You have been asked evaluate the report and present it to the Board of Parole.

Click here to download the forensic psychology and risk assessment report.

Tasks:

Evaluate the forensic psychology and risk assessment report and create an 8- to 10-page essay in a Microsoft Word document addressing the following:

  • Identify and describe the role and purpose of the report. Comment on whether the evaluation was or was not necessary. State the reasons for your opinion.
  • Apply considerations of any information or sections that you found missing in the report as well as information that you found to be not relevant, i.e., elements that should have been omitted. In other words, what could have been added to or excluded from the report?
  • Discuss the ways in which cultural sensitivity and aspects of diversity were addressed in the report, including any ways in which the report could be made more culturally sensitive and include greater considerations of elements of diversity.
  • Identify and describe at least two additional psychological assessments or measures that you would have administered to obtain additional relevant information for the report. Feel free to list more than two as appropriate. Be sure to also consider cultural implications of the tests which you select.
  • Explain how you would use the recommendations in the report to assist in the development of a treatment plan.
  • Discuss in what capacity the report may be used in alternative venues. For example, can this report be utilized by other professionals in the future? If so, in what capacity?
  • Discuss the overall quality and readability of this report, including a scholarly critique of the writing.

As you evaluate the report be sure to avoid using the word “I” in formal writing. Remember, the reader of your assignment will know it is your voice since you are the author of your paper. Also, consider the difference between the following two statements, “I think the report needed to have included . . .” and “The report needed to have included . . .” The first statement has some redundancy by the writer’s use of the word “I,” whereas the second statement displays greater confidence.

Your essay should rely upon at least seven scholarly resources from the professional literature that are cited in APA format. 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 or .gov).

Submission Details:

The LASA is worth 300 points and will be graded according to the following rubric:

Assignment Component Proficient  Maximum Points    Identify and describe the role and purpose of the report. Comment on whether the evaluation was or was not necessary. State the reasons for your viewpoint. The role and purpose as well as the necessity of the report were stated and considered ethical considerations. The reasons for their viewpoints were fully articulated.  44    Apply considerations of any information or sections that should be added to or removed from the report Considerations of any information or sections that should be added to or removed from the report are complete, detailed and accurate.  40    Discuss the ways in which cultural sensitivity and aspects of diversity were addressed in the report, including any ways in which the report could be made more culturally sensitive and include greater considerations of elements of diversity. Analysis of the ways in which cultural sensitivity and aspects of diversity were addressed in the report and improvements for cultural sensitivity were complete, detailed and accurate.
Several outside resources were utilized.  44    Identify and describe at least two additional psychological assessments or measures that you would have administered to obtain additional relevant information for the report. Feel free to list more than two as appropriate. Be sure to also consider cultural applications of the tests which you select. Two psychological assessment instruments were identified and discussed. Cultural implications of the selected measures were considered.  44    Explain how you would use the recommendations in the report to assist in the development of a treatment plan. An explanation of how the recommendations in the report could be used to assist in the development of a treatment plan was complete and accurate.  44    Discuss in what capacity the report may be used in alternative venues by other professionals in the future and in what capacity A discussion of how the report can be used in alternative venues by other professionals in the future and in what capacity was complete and accurate.  28    Discuss the quality and readability of this report; include a scholarly critique of the writing. A discussion of the quality and readability of the report and a scholarly critique of the writing were complete and detailed.  28    Academic Writing   Writing is generally clear and in an organized manner. It demonstrates ethical scholarship in accurate representation and attribution of sources; and generally displays accurate spelling, grammar, punctuation. Errors are few, isolated, and do not interfere with reader’s comprehension.
Citations in text and at the end of the document are in correct APA format. Writing is generally clear and in an organized manner. It demonstrates ethical scholarship in accurate representation and attribution of sources; and generally displays accurate spelling, grammar, punctuation. Errors are few, isolated, and do not interfere with reader’s comprehension.
Citations in text and at the end of the document are in correct APA format.  28    Total:  300

 

 

Psychological Evaluation and Risk Assessment

Board of Parole

Department of Corrections

City, State

Jane Doe, Ph.D.

Psychologist

Psychological Services

One Market Street

City, State

February 2, 20XX

I. IDENTIFYING INFORMATION

Inmate Name: John Smith

CDCR Number: XX55555

Date of Birth: 12/12/1974

Date of Interview: 10/01/20XX

Date of Parole Hearing: 11/08/20XX

Mr. Smith is a 37-year-old, married, Hispanic male. He is currently serving a six year sentence for First Degree Robbery and Second Degree Assault. Mr. Smith was transferred to the Department of Corrections on February, 17, 2007. This is Mr. Smith’s second offense. According to records, he previously served a two year sentence with the Department of Corrections in 2001 for Armed Robbery.

II. SOURCES OF INFORMATION

For the purpose of this report, the undersigned interviewed Mr. Smith on October 1, 2011. Additionally, his legal records, medical records, and prior evaluations were reviewed. At the time of the interview, the undersigned informed Mr. Smith that the purpose of the evaluation is to provide the Board of Parole with a professional opinion as to Mr. Smith’s suitability for parole and risk to the community for re-offense. At the same time, Mr. Smith was informed that the interview was not confidential and that any information disclosed in the interview could be utilized in the report. He was also informed that his participation was voluntary. His was informed, however, that if he chose not to participate, that a report would still be generated. It was then explained to Mr. Smith that he had the right to appeal the findings of the evaluation. Mr. Smith acknowledged that he fully understood the purpose of the evaluation and how the information would be used. He indicated it was his decision to participate in the interview.

Although English is Mr. Smith’s second language, it was determined that he did not require an interpreter based on information from the records, conversations with staff, and a discussion with Mr. Smith. It should be noted that the conclusions and opinions expressed herein are entirely those of the undersigned. However, at any time additional information is provided, the undersigned reserves the right to re-evaluate and change any related opinions.

The purpose of this report is to update the Parole Board on Mr. Smith’s behavior, mental health condition, and to answer related questions since his last evaluation (i.e., please see his records for more detailed information regarding such evaluations).

III. INTERVIEW INFORMATION

CURRENT MENTAL STATUS: Mr. Smith attended the interview in a state issued jumpsuit and was adequately groomed. He was cooperative and appropriate throughout the interview process. He maintained an appropriate level of eye contact and was able to adequately express himself. The volume, rate, and prosody of his speech were within normal limits. He showed no signs of neurological limitations. He was alert and oriented throughout the two hour interview. His insight and judgment appeared to be within normal limits. It did not appear that he was responding to any internal or external stimuli. He did not show signs of a thought disorder or additional perceptual disturbance. Mr. Smith denied a history of thoughts of wanting to harm himself or others. He also denied any current suicidal or homicidal thoughts.

INSTITUATIONAL PROGRAMMING: Mr. Smith has been programming well within the institution since his last Parole Board hearing. Specifically:

· Mr. Smith has not received any behavioral violations;

· On January 4, 2010 Mr. Smith was moved from the behavioral unit (BHU) to the general population unit (GPU);

· On January 12, 2010, Mr. Smith joined group therapy and, according to staff, has been an active participant;

· Mr. Smith has expressed interest in individual therapy;

· On February 6, 2010, Mr. Smith expressed interest in vocational programming and on February 13, 2010, he accepted a Work-For-Pay position;

· Mr. Smith has completed 12 educational units and is currently enrolled in 3 math units;

· On February 20, 2010, Mr. Smith joined AA programming in his living unit and has completed 27 hours;

INSIGHT/SELF ASSESSMENT: Mr. Smith views himself as having had several “set-backs” since his transfer to the facility. He indicated that he has “tried to remain positive and cooperative with staff.” Mr. Smith reported that since his last hearing he has taken the initiative to “improve himself.” He explained that he has “a daughter out there (i.e., in the community)…I don’t want her to see me like this.” Although, historically, he has presented with behaviors consistent with Antisocial Personality Disorder, he has been able to regulate several of the behavioral components by working with staff members. He explained that he views himself as a “criminal, now…But, when I get out on the streets, I will change. I won’t be a criminal anymore. I’m going to be clean.” He described his participation in Alcoholics Anonymous. He reported his future plans to remain active in such programming. Mr. Smith was asked how he has recently been spending his time in the facility. He indicated, “When I have time, I like to write poetry and draw.” He reported that he has recently joined Speak for a Change, which is an institutional group that speaks with newly admitted inmates about taking a non-criminal path in life. He explained that through this program he has been able to “learn a lot about myself.” Upon inquiry, Mr. Smith reported that he has learned through the program that he had “chosen” to participate in criminal behaviors and that he can “choose” to not participate in them when released.

PAROLE PLANS IF GRANTED RELEASE: If granted parole, Mr. Smith reported that he plans to return to live with his girlfriend. He reported that he has been in a relationship with his girlfriend for approximately 9 years. She is currently renting a house in Denver, CO, which is in the city of his release. According to records, Mr. Smith’s girlfriend currently works at Financial Bank as a teller. He indicated that he plans to re-gain contact with his daughter (i.e., a different woman than above mentioned girlfriend), who currently lives with her grandmother in Whittier, CO. Upon inquiry, Mr. Smith reported that he has money saved in a savings account that his girlfriend opened for him approximately 2 years ago. Mr. Smith was asked about his vocational plans. He indicated that he plans to return to the construction company where he had previously been employed. He reported that he has spoken with the company’s owner who explained that “as long as I’m on parole and abide by the terms he’ll let me come back.” Records do not indicate a prior history of parole violations. Mr. Smith was asked about his risk to the community if he were to be granted parole. He indicated that “there’s always a risk I can do something stupid again, but it’s low.” He explained that since his involvement in group therapy and AA he has learned ways to cope with stressful circumstances and alternative ways to make financial gains.

SUBSTANCE ABUSE: Mr. Smith has a lengthy history of alcohol abuse. He reported that he was under the influence of alcohol each time he has engaged in criminal behaviors. He indicated that he has been sober since his admission to the Department of Corrections. He explained, “I realize I can’t drink” as readily “here, but I am doing the best I can to set myself up for success to not drink” in the community. As stated above, Mr. Smith is currently participating in AA and has plans to continue such participation in the community upon release. He reported the AA programming has been helpful in remaining sober. Mr. Smith acknowledged his excessive use of alcohol and admitted his dependence on the substance. He described an understanding that his illness is life-long and expressed dedication to remain sober in the community. His continued sobriety and recovery from alcohol is largely dependent on his continued participation in chemical dependency treatment. It is the undersigned’s professional opinion that completion of such treatment should be mandated as a term of his parole (if granted).

IV. DIAGNOSTIC SUMMERY AND CONSIDERATIONS

The following diagnostic profile is based on criteria that is established by the American Psychiatric Association and derived from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders).

DSM IV-TR Diagnosis

Axis I: 303.90 Alcohol Dependence, In a Controlled Environment

311.00 Depressive Disorder, Not Otherwise Specified

Axis II: Rule Out Antisocial Personality Disorder

Axis III: Deferred to Health Services

Axis IV: Legal Problems

Axis V: GAF: 75 (Current)

DSM 5 Diagnosis:

305.00 Alcohol Use Disorder, In Sustained Remission, In a Controlled Environment, Mild

MENTAL HEALTH CONCERNS OR PERSONALITY DISORDERS: Mr. Smith’s history of alcohol dependence is described above.

Mr. Smith has historically suffered from affective-related symptomology. During the interview for purposes of this report, Mr. Smith presented with depressive features. He endorsed several symptoms consistent with such a disorder; however, symptoms did not meet criteria for full diagnostic considerations. He endorsed sleep disturbance, difficulty concentrating, feelings of guilt, and low self-esteem.

Mr. Smith has a history of engaging in criminal behaviors, of which reportedly began at a young age. It is unclear from the provided records if he meets diagnostic criteria for Antisocial Personality Disorder at this time. Therefore, when more information and documentation is provided this Axis II diagnosis should be re-evaluated.

V. PREVIOUS EVALUATION SUMMARIES

Mr. Smith has previously been evaluated by Jennifer Common, Ph.D. and John Person, Ph.D. Both professionals concluded that although Mr. Smith appeared to be a low risk to the community, he had additional work (i.e., psychological treatment, educational, and vocational) to be completed in the facility. It appears from provided documentation and from Mr. Smith that he has engaged in all of the previous mentioned recommendations.

VI. VIOLENCE RISK ASSESSMENT

It is the undersigned’s conclusions that based on his current behaviors and on actuarial assessments, Mr. Smith is overall found to be in the low risk range to engage in future criminal behaviors.

The following measures were utilized in the evaluation of Mr. Smith:

· Historical Clinical Risk-20. The HCR-20 is an empirically-based, standardized rating scale of future violent risk. Mr. Smith earned a score of nine, which places him the low risk range to engage in future violent behaviors.

· Level of Service Inventory-Revised. The LSI-R is an empirically-based standardized rating scale that has demonstrated validity in the prediction of future violence. On this measure, Mr. Smith was provided a rating of nine, which places him in the low risk range for recidivism.

VII. SUMMARY OPINION

As stated above, Mr. Smith is a low risk for future violence. According to records, Mr. Smith has minimized his risk by engaging in previously recommended activities and programs. Therefore, based on all of the provided information and documentation, it appears that Mr. Smith would be a good candidate for parole. Specific recommendations if released to the community include:

1. Chemical dependency treatment. As stated elsewhere, Mr. Smith has historically struggled with substance dependency issues, of which he believes largely contributed to his offending. It would be the recommendation that he complete a program registered and certified to handle such an offender.

2. Psychological treatment for depressive symptomology. Mr. Smith has historically struggled with depressive features. Although it is unclear from the records, Mr. Smith may have previously utilized substances in order to cope with such symptomology.

3. Consider a referral for psychotropic medications. Again, Mr. Smith has historically struggled with depressive features. He may benefit from an anti-depressant.

4. Although Mr. Smith has a relapse-prevention plan if released, he should be released to a program that would provide him structure. Being released from prison after several years may introduce a variety of stressors he is not adequately prepared to deal with.

5. Transitional programming may also be beneficial. Although it appears Mr. Smith has a place to live and employment lined up, these may fall through. In such circumstances, his risk to re-offend may increase. He is also encouraged to consider additional vocational training to make him more marketable in the work force.

6. Encouragement and fostering of pro-social behaviors and attitudes. Mr. Smith appears to be engaging in behaviors that are both beneficial for himself and others in the facility. This engagement appears to be increasing his level of empathy for others. He is encouraged to engage in similar activities in the future.

Please consider this report respectfully submitted. Should you have any additional questions or need me to testify, please do not hesitate to contact me.

_____________________________

Jane Doe, Ph.D.

Psychologist

Page 4 of 5 Forensic Psychological Assessment © 2013 Argosy University

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