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When is someone not responsible for a crime because of their mental illness, this is the question that many forensic psychologists often ask themselves. The forensic evaluation of a legal insanity defense and it often involves a careful analysis of the actions as well as the ideas that lead up to the crime and it coordinating with several witness statements.
There are several psychological assessments that are often taken in order to ensure the insanity of the person. This paper will examine some of these assessment tools as well as look at the a case study where it will determine whether indeed a defendant was insane at the time of the crime.
Insanity and assessment tools
Insanity can be described as a legal concept and not a clinical condition , when a defendant's mental state at the time that they committed the offense is at question, a criminal responsibility psychological evaluation or sanity evaluation are often requested by the court (Grisso, 2003). The basis of an insanity plea rests on the basic premise that the defendant at the time of the crime was not criminally responsible for their actions at the time of the offense due to the influence of a mental illness. The utilization of relevant statutes and psychological testing as well as evaluation to address the criteria that is often necessary for an insanity plea.
The first assessment tool is the irresistible impulse assessment test and it was first adopted in order to determine whether or not a person was insane at the time of the act. The instrument often measures duress of mental disease and whether the person lost the power to choose between wrong and right and that at the time of the crime, the free agency at the time was destroyed and the alleged crime was connected with mental disease, in relation of effects and causes as to have been the product of it solely(Grisso, 2003).
The second assessment tool that can be used in Insanity is the Rorschach test which can be described as a psychological test in which the subject's perceptions of inkblots are often recorded and then analyzed using several psychological interpretation using complex algorithms (Groth-Marnat, 2009). This test is used in order to examine the personality characteristics, emotional functioning and also detect underlying thought disorders.
The defendant was not in his right mind at the time of the crime and consequently he cannot was not able to appreciate the wrongness of his action. At the time of the crime he was also not able to understand the consequences of their actions (Helfgott, 2013). Therefore, the fact is that the defendant at the time of the crime had a mental treatment in addition to punishment for his crime. This can also be seen by his actions in the bank, they do not represent those of a sane man.
The defendant never took the money and ran away and was delusional when he was talking to the police. He also talked about his 250 million dollars that was supposed to be delivered along with his 250 virgin wives. The police further was able to describe the defendant as having poor hygiene, dirty clothes and he also appeared to be homeless. Further, after his arrest, there was the schizophrenia diagnosis and was put under anti psychotic medication.
According to the irresistible impulse assessment it fits the description of the defendant, at the time of the crime he had lost the power to choose between right and wrong and his free agency at the time was destroyed (Helfgott, 2013). Therefore, according to this assessment tool, it can be said that the alleged crime of robbing the bank was connected with the mental disease as it seems to have been the sole product of the insanity. Further through the Rorschach test, it can be seen that the individual was not in the right emotional functioning and was not in the right though order.
Helfgott, J. B. P. D. (2013). Criminal Psychology [4 volumes]. Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO.
Groth-Marnat, G. (2009). Handbook of psychological assessment. Hoboken, N.J: John Wiley & Sons.
Grisso, T. (2003). Evaluating competencies: Forensic assessments and instruments. New York: Kluwer Academic/Plenum Published
In some point in the career of a psychologist, they may be requested to carry out a therapeutic assessment, clinical assessment or both. There is a significant difference between a therapeutic assessment and a clinical assessment, and a psychologist needs to know the difference. A forensic assessment is carried out to establish facts in the court while a therapeutic assessment is done for the purpose of the individual being assessed. Psychologists are currently allowed by the courts to offer professional expertise that relates to a wide range of both criminal and civic issues (Packer, 245). The issues include child custody, personal injury, divorce mediation, juvenile sentencing, insanity defense and commitment of sexual offenders. The growing market for forensics has led to the development of forensic psychologists who acts as experts in court matters. In this essay, the discussion revolves around assessment and role differences and similarities between forensic and clinical duties.
In case a clinician is requested to offer a testimony on a witness, there are limitations to the testimony that the clinician can offer. For the clinician to offer the testimony, there has to be a clear doctor-patient relationship. The clinician can testify as a witness producing facts; however, the clinician cannot offer expert opinions unless the circumstances demand it. The clinician in the position of a fact witness can provide information such as when the patient was seen, diagnosis and treatment offered, evaluation procedures followed and duration of treatment (Greenberg & Shuman, 50). The clinician is not allowed to provide any data that does not relate to the case of the client. The clinician should not also offer expert opinion on the psychological matters, competency, fitness on duty and sanity of the suspect. The violation of the clinician by offering information that is not required puts him or her at risk. The clinician risks having the whole testimony stricken or damaging the therapeutic relationship.
In Forensic evaluations, the examiner’s role is to help out in identification of facts that can help in closing the case. Forensic examiners use their expertise to make decisions and determine facts that relate to the case in question (Greenberg & Shuman, 51). The forensic examiners also provide information on the extent of the emotional or cognitive injury, and opinion on the functional and legal capacity of the individual. The difference between forensic and clinical examiners is that the former deal with secondary issues while the latter deal with primary issues like relief of the patient’s symptoms and their subjective experience. Forensic examiners are prohibited from assuming the helping role to the suspect or the court. The neutrality of the forensic examiners is important to ensure that only facts are presented. If the professional training of the clinician is emphasized on therapeutic treatment and relationship, then he or she may experience problems adjusting to the forensic role.
In most jurisdictions, there is a conflict between the role of a clinical examiner and forensic examiner. In most places, a clinical examiner can act as a fact witness or provide opinions on the mental state of the suspect. As a fact witness, the clinical examiner should testify on information got from first-hand therapy: the clinical examiner can also be allowed to provide their opinion on the mental disorder the patient may be suffering from. The testimony can include a history of therapy, diagnosis and treatment the patient has been undergoing. To be allowed to give an expert opinion, the clinical examiner must have a degree of scientific certainty. Forensic psychologists are not legal scholar, but they are expected to have some knowledge on legal concepts relevant to their area of forensics (Packer, 246). The advantage of this knowledge is to avoid part of the expert testimony being barred.
There are similarities and differences between the clinical roles and forensic roles. One of the differences is the impact of the professional in the relationship. The clinical examiners strive to listen to their patients while forensic examiners show a dispassionate attitude. Clinical examiners use the history of the patient to diagnose him or her and come up with a treatment while forensic examiners use the history of the patient to determine his or her reliability. A clinical examiner seeks information to solve the disease or condition while a forensic examiner is determined to provide the court with information used in reaching a legal decision (Greenberg & Shuman, 53). For one to manage a clinical role, the training involves the learning of therapeutic techniques and how to manage psychological disorders. Forensic examiners should have the knowledge on different evaluation techniques and the relevant legal issues. Therefore, the knowledge that forensic examiners have should provide one with the means to answer the relevant legal questions.
In conclusion, there is a great difference when it comes to clinical assessments and forensic assessments. Clinical assessments are meant to diagnose what the patient is suffering from in order to administer the right medication. Forensic assessments are supposed to do evaluations and provide facts and information that is relevant to legal cases in court (Packer, 246). The training for a forensic examiner and that of a clinical examiner are different due to the difference in their duties. However, both the clinical examiners and the forensic examiners do a recommendable job.
Greenberg, S., & Shuman, D. (n.d.). Irreconcilable Conflict Between Therapeutic And Forensic Roles. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 28(1), 50-57.
Packer, I. (n.d.). Specialized Practice In Forensic Psychology: Opportunities And Obstacles. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 39(2), 245-249.
The definition of the needs assessment helps in the determination of a specific needs assessment. There are several definitions of needs assessment. However, the basic definition of the needs assessment should ensure that it has several aspects such as planned process that require specific information and requirements for a certain group of people or individuals and help in the understanding of certain issues and resources in healthcare. Thus, needs assessment should focus on specific aspects such as priority population, needs of the population, the sub-group with the greatest needs, the specific steps to resolve the needs and the most appropriate ways of identifying the needs. Thus, we can gauge the capacity of the community by evaluating the past steps or initiatives to resolves issues and the most appropriate ways of addressing the identified needs. Thus, the definition of the needs assessment has an impact on the identification of the priority population as well as determining the ways of meeting up with the needs of the population.
There is a specific way of acquiring needs assessment data. The primary data refers to the first-hand information the researcher collects using methods like interviewing while the secondary data refers to the available data the another party collects and the researcher can use in the assessment. In secondary data, the researcher does not have direct contact with the data sources thus called ‘no contact methods.' There are merits and demerits of suing primary and secondary data in the needs assessment. First, secondary data are advantageous to use because they are less costly, and they are easily acquired. Thus, planners prefer using secondary data because they save time and money. On the other hand, secondary data is limited in needs assessment because information in the set of data may fail to identify the needs of the population due to the methods of data collection, the source of data and variables used in the collection of data. Thus, the researcher must ensure that they analyze the situation of the data before using them in the analysis. The use of primary data in the needs assessment is beneficial because it is specific and focuses on the topic of study. However, the primary data is limited because it is expensive and time-consuming.
ii.Mission Statement, Goals, and Objectives
The organization or planning involves setting up what one wants to accomplish. The planning of activity helps in giving direction to a particular event. Thus, evaluation of a certain program involves setting mission statement, goals, and objectives. There is a relationship between mission statement, goals, and objectives. The ideas become narrower in scope as they move from mission statement to objectives. Thus, a program must ensure that it has set up mission statement then followed by goals and later come up with objectives.
Mission statement of a program refers to the aim or an overview of the program, and it gives more details about the purpose and focus of the program. The mission statement highlights both the program's philosophy and its focus. More so, the mission statement of a program helps in giving guidelines about the developmental objectives and goals. Some program may differ in their mission statements due to the differences in the settings. Thus, a program should show differences in the vision and mission statements of a program. A mission statement highlights the description of the current efforts of a program. Thus, a program should not add a vision statement to the mission statement because vision statement reveals more information about the ideas, events, goods and behavior of the program.
When setting up a program, the manager should ensure that they set the differences between goals and objectives. First, goals of a program highlight broad statements that are described in a non-technical language. Goals focus on the intentions of the program though they are less specific as compared to the objectives. More so, goals give the program direction to guide its operations. The difference between objectives and goals of a program is that objectives give specific parts of the goals that re easily measured. Goals are expectations of a program that are global or give more information. More so, the goal of a program focuses on all aspects of a program. Apart from giving direction, goal lack deadlines and have a general nature. Goals are usually inferred and take a longer time to accomplish. One cannot easily measure goals though we can use terms such as understand, improve, know and evaluate to describe goals. One should write goals in a simple and concise manner and avoid using sentences. The basic components of program goals are to assess the person that will have an effect on change and the kind of change from the results of the program. A successful program should have several goals that it aims at accomplishing.
The other aspects of a program are the objectives. The objectives of a program give specific information, and they are more precise than the goals of the program. The objectives of a program represent the achievements that show progress in attaining a certain goal. The objectives of a program also outline the changes that are most likely to occur due to exposure to the program. The objectives are very vital because they convert diagnostic data into the direction of a program and help in outlining the allocation of resources. Thus, objectives act as a link between the planned intervention and the needs assessment. More so, planners should develop skills of how to develop objectives.
There are several levels of objectives in the needs assessment. The planner arranges the objectives in a hierarchical order to allow for the effective planning process. The planner should arrange the objectives in sequence to help in attaining program goals. The objectives of a program should be coherent at all levels and should be more explicit and refined. More so, objectives achieved at a lower-level will lead to the planners attaining higher-level goals and objectives. There are two major types of objectives: process and impact objectives. The process objectives refer to the common activities, work plans and tasks that one can use to accomplish the other objective levels. The process objectives focus on the inputs of the program and the implementation activities. The process objectives also aim at aspects like resources required in the program and the interventions necessary for the program activities. Other aspects of the process objectives include participation, feedback of the stakeholders and attendance. The second type of objective refers to impact objective. Impact objective is the second in the hierarchy and include other types of objectives such as environment, behavioral and learning. The impact objectives give a description of the observable effects of a program such as behaviors, knowledge and attitude and form a basis for the formation of impact evaluation.
In needs assessment, the planners should assess the most appropriate ways of attaining objectives and goals. The planner should design effective and efficient activities to help in the achievement of outcomes to reach the goal and objectives. The attainment of the goals and objectives lead to the formation of interventions or treatment. Intervention means to come up with something that shows the relationship between two aspects. Interventions in health program involve aspects that come at the beginning and the end of program measurements. There are several ways a planner can intervene in medical care and other sectors.
Interventions refer to the activities carried out between two measurement points of a program. Intervention may be a group of activities or a single activity. The other aspects of intervention are the size and involve the number of activities that the planner conducts. Multiplicities are the number of activities or aspects that make up a single intervention in a program. More so, an interventions program that involves several activities has a higher effect on the priority population as opposed to an intervention program that involves a single activity. In most of the programs, several planners are using multiple intervention programs because it affects the health status and behavior of the population. Thus, planners propose that multiplicity intervention program should use a socio-ecological approach to have a huge impact on the behavior of the priority population. More so, the scope used to reach out to priority population should use several channels to become effective and efficient. More so, the planner should select the most appropriate number of activities as intervention programs.
The other type of intervention is the dose intervention. The dose intervention relies on the number of unit programs used process. The greater the dose intervention used in any program will lead to greater chances of finding the solution to the problem. Thus, dose strategy mainly relies on a single program unit. More so, planners should assess the type of strategies to use as an intervention program. A strategy refers to the activities that help in giving an outline or action to the health issue or problem. In the healthcare sector, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention present several strategies that planners can adopt in giving as an intervention program. However, the strategies rely on each other, and they are not independent. Seven groups provide intervention strategies in the medical sector. The seven strategies include Health communication strategies, health-related community service strategies, health education, environmental change, health enforcement or policy, community mobilization and other strategies.
A health program should have appropriate resources to attain its objectives and goals. The resources in any program include technical assets, fiscal and human aspects that help in the evaluation, implementation, and planning of the program. The nature and scope of the program determine the amount and quantity of resources required in the implementation, evaluation and planning of resources. The financial resources are necessary for the implementation process. However, the government and other organizations can provide free resources in medical care. The planning process in the health promotion program should include evaluation, implementation, and acquisition of necessary resources.
The marketing of healthcare promotion program involves several aspects such as social marketing aspects. Social marketing aims at improving the well-being of the society and individual using marketing principles. The social marketing process involves several activities that are relevant to the four areas of health education. The social marketing process focuses on the priority population and involves steps such as designing of strategies and data collection. The social marketing involves competencies and responsibilities hat help in the realization of market or brand awareness. The first responsibility in social marketing involves an assessment of the need and building capacity for education on health. The responsibility involves qualitative or quantitative data as the major health care competency. The second responsibility involves planning for health education while the competency at this stage involves setting getting the priority population as well as focusing on other relevant stakeholders. The other responsibility of the social marketing involves conducting research on higher education and as well as an evaluation program. The competency in this section involves an application of findings, collection, and analysis of the research data. The last responsibility of the social marketing involves advocating and communicating for health education. The related competency in this area involves development and identification of the communication methods, techniques, and strategies.
Marketing refers to creation, delivery, and communication of customer values. The major aim of marketing is to focus on the financial outcomes to help reap benefits from the stakeholder of the firm. The marketing strategies Marjory focus on the needs and requirements of the consumers. Other vital aspects in marketing include the products of the program. The products of an organization should aim at ensuring that it offers satisfaction to the consumers. The marketing involves marketing mix that should incorporate communication materials such as television and billboards. In health promotion, marketing mix should use the consumer-needs planning approach. The consumer-needs marketing approach relies on the orientation of the consumers to help understand the priority population. Thus, planners have a wider scope to choose the marketing strategies and should provide opportunities and choices to the priority population.
The basic definition of implementation entails carrying out a particular duty or activity. Other definitions of implementation refer to the process of converting the objectives and goals of the program into realizable action. The implementation process involves management activities, procedures, policies, administrative structures, and regulations. Thus, implementation of a health promotion program involves setting up, managing and execution of the program. Apart from implementation process, other activities such as sustainability and adoption help in the realization of an effective health promotion program.
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