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Behav Sci Law. 1997 Summer;15(3):347-64.

Five year research update (1991-1995): evaluations for competence to stand trial.

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Bridgewater State Hospital, MA 02324, USA.


This article reviews and evaluates publications during 1991-1995 with relevance for assessments of competence to stand trial. The review focuses specifically on articles that provide new concepts or data supported by research or case analyses. The studies are reviewed under the following headings: (a) the systemic context of competence to stand trial (CST) evaluations, (b) conceptual definitions of CST, (c) research on CST assessment methods, (d) characteristics of incompetent defendants, (e) interpretation and communication of CST evaluation data, (f) issues in CST assessment of special populations (juveniles, persons with mental retardation), and (g) treatment to restore competence. Suggestions are offered for further research to advance the quality of clinical evaluations for competence to stand trial.

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