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As in its first edition, this book offers a conceptual model for understanding the nature of legal competencies. The model is interpreted to assist mental health professionals in designing and performing assessments for legal competencies defined in criminal and civil law, and to guide research that should improve the practice of evaluations for legal competencies.
A special feature is the book's evaluative review of specialized forensic assessment instruments for each of several legal competences. Three-quarters of the 37 instruments reviewed in the second edition are new and thus were not reviewed in the first edition.
Application of the assessment model and reviews of instruments are provided for six areas of legal competence: competence to stand trial; waiver of rights to silence and legal counsel; not guilty by reason of insanity; parenting capacity - determination of child custody; guardianship and conservatorship; and competence to consent to treatment.