Assessment of individuals for legal purposes, to inform the decisions that will be made concerning them, is one of the core tasks of forensic psychology. It can occur at a variety of places within an individual’s journey through the system – for example, there may be a pre-trial assessment; or an assessment may be required by a judge prior to sentencing; or convicted prisoners or detained patients may be assessed for allocation decisions, for appraisal of risks and needs, or to review their progress. Within these areas, there are many specific objectives for which assessments might be conducted. Assessment is not therefore something that is done as an end in itself. It is designed to serve a purpose, and will usually result in a report, either verbal or written, prepared for a specified recipient or audience, in order to provide information that will in turn be entered into a decision the recipient is required to make. (Were that not the case, the recipient would be unlikely to have requested or commissioned the report.
Swipe to navigate through the chapters of this book
Please log in to get access to this content
To get access to this content you need the following product:
- Professional Roles: Assessing Offenders
- Macmillan Education UK
- Sequence number
- Chapter number