February 10, 2012

Ambitious competency project launched

The National Judicial College has just launched an amazing online resource on competency. The goal of the "Mental Competency – Best Practices Model" is to present practices deemed to be most effective and efficient for handling mental competency issues in the criminal justice and mental health systems.

If you do any competency related work, I strongly encourage you to check out the fabulous website. It's got step-by-step tutorials, taking you all the way from the initial referral to the evaluation and report to contested hearings and competency restoration treatment. The website boasts an array of other resources, including videos of mock competency hearings, sample reports and templates, and links to articles, case law, and state-by-state statutes.

They’ve even started a mental competency blog, which aims to keep readers apprised of court decisions and other competency related news.

With funding from the Department of Justice, the National Judicial College plans to present a series of three webinars on best practices in competency. You can sign up on the website to be notified of the dates, or just watch them after they are posted on the website.

Forensic psychologists who assisted with the ambitious project include Patricia Zapf of the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York, Mary Alice Conroy of Sam Houston State University in Texas, Joel Dvoskin of the University of Arizona, Floyd Jennings of the Harris County (Texas) Public Defender's Office, and Karen Bailey-Smith and Lenny Bailey, both of the Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities.

Kudos to all!

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