In criminal cases, Dr. Ihrig, Dr. Boero, Dr. Hughes, and Dr. Popkin conduct forensic evaluations and provide expert opinions in the areas of custody evaluations, parenting evaluations, competency to stand trial, diminished capacity, insanity pleas, malingering, sexual offenses, and juvenile competency.
Custody and Parenting Evaluations
In these evaluations the professional opinions of the psychologists are used to assist the judge in making an informed decision regarding the best interests of the child. This is the standard always used in these cases. Evaluations of the parent’s competency and skills are made as well as an in-depth assessment of the child’s particular concerns including mental illness of any of the parties involved. We can be retained in these circumstances by the court or any of the involved parties.
Competency to Stand Trial
There are several acceptable approaches for performance of competency to stand trial evaluations including standardized methods such as Georgia Competency Test. Competency to stand trial evaluations can be ordered by the defense, the prosecution, or the courts. The party ordering evaluation should expect the evaluator to address the pertinent issues in accordance with: Dusky v. U.S., 362 U.S. 402, 80 S.Ct.788 (1960); Drope v. Missouri, 420 U.S. 162, 95 S.Ct. 896 (1975); and Godinez v. Moran, 509 U.S. 389, 113 S.Ct. 2680 (1993), and the statutory requirements in a given jurisdiction. Competencies to waive constitutional rights, i.e. competency to plead guilty or competency to waive the right to counsel are not offered as separate evaluations, but are addressed in the context of competency to stand trial report. The reports address the following areas in sufficient detail: