Practitioner's bookshelf—Forensic psychology, part II

In this recurring feature, we bring you new releases, best-of-class reference texts and resources you can recommend to your clients. This is the second installment in our series on forensic psychology

By Marketing and Business Development Staff

January 12, 2012—In this recurring feature, we bring you new releases, best-of-class reference texts and resources you can recommend to your clients. Titles and descriptions come from both the APA Practice Organization’s Amazon Associates Store and APA Books. This is the second article in our series on forensic psychology, with volumes that cover risk assessment, child and family issues, eyewitness testimony and other judicial topics.

Special thanks to Kasey Shienvold, PsyD, and Kirmach Natani, PhD, for their contributions to this edition of Practitioner’s Bookshelf. In the next installment, we’ll focus on special issues, as well as the use of particular assessment instruments in forensic settings. What other books on forensic psychology have you found helpful and informative? Email us and let us know.

Forensic Psychology Resources

Violence Risk Assessment

Evaluation for Risk of Violence in Adults (Best Practices in Forensic Mental Health Assessment Series)
By Kirk Heilbrun
Part of the successful Best Practices in Forensic Mental Health Assessment series, this volume includes step-by-step information on performing violence risk assessments. The book’s user-friendly format includes bulleted lists, helpful tips and key issues to avoid. In making recommendations for best practice, authors consider empirical support, legal relevance and consistency with ethical and professional standards.

Violent Offenders: Appraising and Managing Risk, Second Edition
By Vernon L. Quinsey, Grant T. Harris, Marnie E. Rice and Catherine A. Cormier
Predicting future violence among criminal offenders is notoriously difficult. In the first edition of this book, the authors argued that community risk management can be improved by using actuarial assessment and by combining what is known about the prediction of violence, the study of clinical decision making and the literature on treatment outcome and program evaluation. In that best-selling book, they reported on their long-term research at the Oak Ridge Division of the Penetanguishene Mental Health Care Centre, in Ontario, Canada—probably the most thoroughly studied maximum security psychiatric facility in the world — and chronicled the development of their assessment instrument, the Violence Risk Appraisal Guide. Since that first edition appeared, the field of violence risk assessment has exploded. The literature base is much larger and richer, as is the relevant commentary. In this new edition, the authors update their review, focusing on the actuarial instruments they developed and described earlier and on the measures they have continued to develop. In their lively style, they review the commentary on risk appraisal, addressing 20 of the most common arguments against actuarial risk appraisal. They clarify how to score items of the Violence Risk Appraisal Guide (VRAG) and Sex Offender Risk Appraisal Guide (SORAG) based on extensive inquiries from professionals who use these instruments in the field. Lastly, they provide a more detailed description of the development of the SORAG.

Child, Adolescent and Family Issues

Mental Health Screening and Assessment in Juvenile Justice
By Thomas Grisso, Gina Vincent and Daniel Seagrave
A complete, authoritative guide for professionals charged with identifying the mental health needs of juveniles in the justice system, this volume offers a practical primer on screening and assessment together with in-depth reviews of over 20 widely used instruments. The book describes how to put screening and assessment programs into place in juvenile justice settings in order to determine whether youth require specialized mental health treatment services, evaluate violence risks, develop more effective rehabilitation plans and address specific forensic questions. Chapters on specific instruments — many of which are written by the test developers themselves — follow a consistent format for ease of reference and comparison. Coverage encompasses the psychometric properties of each measure, its recommended applications, and administration and scoring procedures, including an illustrative case example.

Juvenile Delinquency: Prevention, Assessment, and Intervention
By Kirk Heilbrun, Naomi E. Sevin Goldstein and Richard E. Redding
Juvenile offending and anti-social behavior are enormous societal concerns. This broad-reaching volume summarizes the current evidence on prevention, diversion, causes and rates of delinquency, as well as assessment of risk and intervention needs. A distinguished cast of contributors from law, psychology and psychiatry describe what we know about interventions in school, community and residential contexts, focusing particularly on interventions that are risk reducing and cost effective. Equally important, each chapter comments on what is not well supported through research, distinguishing aspects of current practice that are likely to be effective from those that are not and mapping new directions for research, policy and practice. Finally, the volume provides a description of a model curriculum for training legal and mental health professionals on conducting relevant assessments of adolescents for the courts. Effectively bridging research and practice, this will be an important resource for legal and mental health professionals involved in the juvenile justice system, policy makers seeking humane but effective interventions in the context of society's need for safety, and those involved in teaching about and training in juvenile delinquency.

Expert Witnesses in Child Abuse Cases: What Can and Should Be Said in Court
Edited by Stephen J. Ceci and Helene Hembrooke
Psychologists have been increasingly called on to testify in child abuse cases. The rough-and-tumble world of courtroom machinations, however, has left many wondering how they can protect themselves and their science from manipulation and misuse by the court system. In this book, eminent lawyers, psychologists and social workers discuss the thornier aspects of testimony and provide recommendations on the proper role of the expert witness. In each chapter, one or more current problem areas associated with expert testimony in cases of child abuse are described.

Courtroom Modifications for Child Witnesses: Law and Science in Forensic Evaluations
By Susan R. Hall and Bruce D. Sales
This book is aimed at mental health professionals who perform forensic evaluations of child witnesses in cases of alleged maltreatment, to determine whether to recommend courtroom modifications. Authors Susan R. Hall and Bruce D. Sales consider, from both legal and psychological standpoints, courtroom modifications such as allowing supportive adults in the witness box and allowing hearsay exemptions. The legal implications of more controversial practices such as using screens to shield the witness from the defendant, and using remote or videotaped depositions or testimony are also discussed. Finally, the authors review current research on trauma, PTSD, fear, anxiety and depression in children who have been allegedly abused, and examine the implications for child testimony.

Family Evaluation in Custody Litigation: Reducing Risks of Ethical Infractions and Malpractice
By G. Andrew H. Benjamin and Jackie K. Gollan
The authors provide a step-by-step child custody assessment protocol that protects families, while at the same time helps new evaluators minimize the likelihood of committing ethical infractions or malpractice. The book puts family litigation into context and reviews the legal evidentiary standards that pertain to psychological testing, scientific evidence, and expert witness testimony used in the court system. Although written for the novice evaluator, it can help enhance the clinical skills of even the most seasoned evaluators, because it offers a complete overview of the judicial process and the evolving changes in the standards of practice. The authors share invaluable materials, including a sample written evaluation report and other forms that readers can adapt for use in their own practices.

Parenting Evaluations for the Court
By Lois Oberlander Condie
This book aims to lay the foundation for solid conceptual and methodological approaches for mental health professionals in offering effective responses to legal standards and to the needs of individuals regarding care and protection issues. Offering ways to integrate theory and research into practice, this volume provides conceptual models for consultation and assessment. It will be of interest to forensic mental consultants and evaluators, attorneys, judges, child protective system administrators and workers, and policymakers.

Family Mediation: Facts, Myths, and Future Prospects
By Connie J.A. Beck and Bruce D. Sales
The authors trace the development of the field as well as current mediation practices and take a hard look at the consequences for families and the legal system. For families enduring divorce, it is presumed that mediating support, custody and visitation issues is quicker, less expensive and less painful than battling in court. But, how valid are the claims of mediation's wide-ranging benefits? Borrowing from the experiences and methods of psychotherapy research, the authors offer an engaging, highly informative critique of family mediation practice and research to reveal how much more needs to be done. Legal and mental health professionals involved with families in divorce will gain a clear understanding of the substantial research opportunities in the field, results of which have direct impact on social policies.

Evaluation of Juveniles' Competence to Stand Trial (Best Practices in Forensic Mental Health Assessment Series)
By Ivan Kruh, Thomas Grisso
Forensic mental health assessment has grown into a specialization informed by research and professional guidelines. This volume addresses best approaches to practice for evaluations in the juvenile/family area. It contains a discussion of the relevant legal and psychological concepts, followed by a step-by-step description of the assessment process from preparing for the evaluation to writing the report and testifying in court.

Malingering and Deception in Adolescents: Assessing Credibility in Clinical and Forensic Settings
By Joseph T. McCann
Given the increasing incarceration rates and mental health problems among adolescents, there is a growing need for practitioners to be able to assess the accuracy of adolescents' self-reports. This book provides forensic psychologists and clinicians with interviewing techniques and strategies; psychological testing approaches; and insight into professional, legal, and ethical issues relative to the assessment of the reports of these troubled adolescents. Both a psychologist and an attorney, Dr. McCann maintains that there is a wide variety of reasons for deception among adolescents, requiring a careful review of case history and treatment context. Thoughtful discussion of the significance and classification of malingering and deception, illuminating case examples, and analysis of applications in clinical and forensic settings make this compassionate yet practical examination of adolescent deception a singular resource for clinicians, forensic psychologists, psychiatrists and attorneys who specialize in representing juveniles.

Double Jeopardy: Adolescent Offenders with Mental Disorders
By Thomas Grisso
Nearly two-thirds of adolescent offenders currently held in juvenile justice facilities across the United States meet the criteria for one or more mental disorders — a fact that has many parents, healthcare providers, and legislatures wondering about our mental health systems for children. Have these systems failed so badly that we must arrest our children for crimes in order for them to receive help? In this book, leading researcher Thomas Grisso considers the newest data on the nature of mental disorders in youth — examining, for example, their relationship to delinquency, the values and limits of various treatment methods, and common, related patterns of adolescent offending — and then charts a course for practitioners working within today’s juvenile justice system. Grisso carefully evaluates the threefold obligations of the juvenile justice system: as a custodian of children with health needs, a legal system promoting fairness in youth adjudication, and protector of public safety. Double Jeopardy provides a scientific and practical foundation for lawmakers, judges, attorneys and mental health care professionals, as well as researchers in mental health and adolescent development.

Eyewitness Testimony, Jury Selection and Other Judicial Issues

Evaluating Eyewitness Identification (Best Practices in Forensic Mental Health Assessment Series)
By Brian Cutler and Margaret Bull Kovera
Part of the Best Practices in Forensic Mental Health Assessment Series, this volume deals with the issues involved in evaluating eyewitness testimony. In making recommendations for best practice, authors consider empirical support, legal relevance and consistency with ethical and professional standards. These volumes offer invaluable guidance for anyone involved in conducting or using forensic evaluations.

Expert Testimony on the Psychology of Eyewitness Identification
By Brian L. Cutler
Eyewitness testimony is highly compelling in a criminal trial, and can have an indelible impact on jurors. However, two decades of research on the subject have shown us that eyewitnesses are sometimes wrong, even when they are highly confident that they are making correct identifications. This book brings together an impressive group of researchers and practicing attorneys to provide current overviews and critiques of key topics in eyewitness testimony.

Police Interrogations and False Confessions: Current Research, Practice, and Policy Recommendations
Edited by G. Daniel Lassiter and Christian A. Meissner
Although it is generally believed that wrongful convictions based on false confessions are relatively rare — the 1989 Central Park jogger "wilding" case being the most notorious example — recent exonerations of the innocent through DNA testing are increasing at a rate that few in the criminal justice system might have speculated. Because of the growing realization of the false confession phenomenon, psychologists, sociologists, and legal/law-enforcement scholars and practitioners have begun to examine the factors embedded in American criminal investigations and interrogations that may lead innocent people to implicate themselves in crimes they did not commit. This book brings together a group of renowned scholars and practitioners in the fields of social psychology, cognitive psychology, developmental psychology, criminology, clinical-forensic psychology and law to examine three salient dimensions of false confessions: interrogation tactics and the problem of false confessions; review of Supreme Court decisions regarding Miranda warnings and custodial interrogations; and new research on juvenile confessions and deception in interrogative interviews. Chapters include well-recognized programs of research on the topics of interrogative interviewing, false confessions, the detection of deception in forensic interviews, individual differences and clinical-forensic evaluations. The book concludes with policy recommendations to attenuate the institutional and social psychological persistence (and pervasiveness) of the various inducements and impediments that have informed law enforcement's interrogation techniques and the types of false confessions they encourage.

Conviction of the Innocent: Lessons From Psychological Research
Edited by Brian L. Cutler
Over the last several decades over 250 citizens convicted of major felonies were found innocent and were exonerated. Today, thanks to the work of psychologists and other criminal justice researchers, the psychological foundations that underlie conviction of the innocent are becoming clear. There is real hope that these findings can lead to positive reforms, reduce the risk of miscarriages of justice, and avoid the consequences of wrongful convictions to victims and society. In this book, the editor presents a state-of-the-field review of current psychological research on conviction of the innocent. Chapter authors investigate how the roles played by suspects, investigators, eyewitnesses and trial witnesses, and how pervasive systemic issues contribute to conspire to increase the risk of conviction of the innocent. The chapters examine psychological perspectives on such topics as police interrogations, confessions, eyewitness identification, trial procedures, juries and forensic science, as well as broader issues such as racism and tunnel vision within the justice system.

Scientific Jury Selection
By Joel D. Lieberman and Bruce D. Sales
Given the importance of trial consultants to the modern day practice of law, Scientific Jury Selection is designed to be informative for psychologists, other professionals interested in trial consulting (e.g., sociologists, communication experts, marketing researchers, psychiatrists and social workers), and attorneys. The authors provide a thorough review of the most common techniques used to select jurors, and a critical evaluation of the ultimate effectiveness of these methods. This critique is based upon an examination of the social science literature. Psychologists and other social scientists as well as practicing trial consultants who read the book should gain a better understanding of the current state of research relevant to scientific jury selection, and areas where new research needs to be conducted to advance the field. Attorneys who read the book should be better able to decide whether or not to hire consultants to assist in future litigation, and if so, what types of services these consultants should provide.

The Psychology of Judicial Decision Making
By David E. Klein and Gregory Mitchell
While scholars in the past several decades have made great progress in explaining what judges do, there remains a certain lack of depth to our understanding. This volume grew from a belief that close examination of the psychological processes underlying judicial decision making can greatly enrich this understanding. The collected essays map ways of incorporating key concepts and findings from psychology into the study of judging. The first section of the book takes as its starting point the fact that judges make many of the same judgments and decisions that ordinary people make and considers how our knowledge about judgment and decision-making in general applies to the case of legal judges. In the second section, chapters focus on the specific tasks that judges perform within a unique social setting and examine the expertise and particular modes of reasoning that judges develop to deal with their tasks in this unique setting. Finally, the third section raises questions about whether and how we can evaluate judicial performance, with implications for the possibility of improving judging through the selection and training of judges and structuring of judicial institutions. Together the essays will foster a better understand how judges make decisions, and open new avenues of inquiry into influences on judicial behavior.

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