What is it about?

When psychologists are court-ordered to conduct forensic mental health evaluations, they are required to adhere to strict timelines; however, it has become increasingly difficult for psychologists to meet these timeline demands. This paper examines what the psychologist-reported barriers are to timely completion of court-ordered forensic mental health evaluations in Washington State by reviewing 1,739 extension requests submitted to the courts.

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Why is it important?

Our findings identify the primary psychologist-listed barriers to timely completion of forensic mental health evaluations, providing a first look at areas for policy and practice intervention. These findings are timely given the current backlog crisis in the legal system with respect to forensic mental health evaluations and subsequent treatment services.

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This page is a summary of: Factors contributing to the delayed submission of competence to stand trial reports and the jail-based competency crisis in Washington., Psychology Public Policy and Law, November 2023, American Psychological Association (APA),
DOI: 10.1037/law0000408.
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