New Orleans 2018: Contemporary Issues in Forensic Psychology

New Orleans, Louisiana
Wednesday, April 04, 2018

Continuing Education Programs

Contemporary Issues in Forensic Psychology

Four Points by Sheraton French Quarter, Meeting Room
New Orleans, Louisiana

Full-Day Workshops (7 Credit Hours per Workshop)

Title: Competencies in the Criminal Process
Presenter: Christopher Slobogin, JD, LLM
Date and Time: Wednesday, April 4 
(8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.)

This workshop provides a comprehensive analysis of the law governing seven competencies that arise in the criminal process: competency to confess, competency to waive legal representation, competency to plead guilty, competency to stand trial, competency to testify, competency to be sentenced, and competency to be executed.  Although relevant research and assessment protocols are discussed, the focus of this workshop is the law’s approach to these issues and its implications for assessment, not the assessment process itself.

Psychologists attending this workshop will be able to:
  • Describe the factors relevant to assessing competency to stand trial, plead guilty, waive counsel and other trial rights, confess, testify and be executed
  • Create a treatment plan to restore competency that addresses the legal issues relevant to refusing treatment
  • Select the appropriate protocol for evaluating various competencies given legal needs and time constraints
  • Identify what key legal issues are of interest to the court when various competencies are raised
  • Critique a competency report’s allegiance to competency criteria
  • Identify advantages and disadvantages to offering ultimate issue language in competency reports
  • Outline a format for a good competency report
Christopher Slobogin, JD, LLM,  has authored more than 100 articles, books and chapters on topics relating to criminal procedure, mental health law and evidence. Director of Vanderbilt Law School’s Criminal Justice Program, he is one of the five most cited criminal law and procedure law professors in the nation, according to the Leiter Report. The book Psychological Evaluations for the Courts, which he co-authored, is considered the standard in forensic mental health.  In recognition for his work in that field, he was named a Distinguished Member of the American Psychology-Law Society in 2008. Professor Slobogin has also served as reporter for the American Bar Association's Task Force on Law Enforcement and Technology and its Task Force on the Insanity Defense.  In addition, he helped draft standards dealing with mental disability and the death penalty that have been adopted by the ABA, the American Psychiatric Association and the American Psychological Association.

Title: Assessing and Managing Violence Risk
Presenter: Mary Alice Conroy, PhD, ABPP 
Date and Time: Wednesday, April 4 (8:45 a.m. - 4:45 p.m.)

This workshop presents an assessment model for combining the most relevant empirical data regarding violence risk, including consideration of clinical assessment data and idiographic factors unique to the examinee. Reviewed in this program are the contemporary violence risk literature, various risk assessment strategies, an approach to integrating risk data, and how to link informed opinions about violence risk to 10 major risk management strategies.

Psychologists attending this workshop will be able to:
  • Describe an organized model of risk assessment that is both ethical and defensible in the courtroom
  • Identify risk assessment instruments appropriate to various contexts
  • Describe risk factors for various types of violence
  • Identify risk assessment methods appropriate to a variety of domains (e.g., adult, juvenile)
  • Collect and consider appropriate idiographic data
  • Defend utilizing both nomothetic and idiographic data
  • Apply principles of effective violence risk management
Mary Alice Conroy, PhD, ABPP is Director of the Sam Houston State University Psychological Services Center.  She previously spent 20 years providing forensic services for the U. S. Bureau of Prisons, including participation in over 1200 risk assessments. For three years, she served on the American Psychological Association’s Committee on Legal Issues (COLI) and as chair of the Forensic Specialty Council. She has presented numerous workshops on forensic issues for lawyers and judges, as well as for mental health professionals, both regionally and nationally. She was the recipient of the 2011 Award for Distinguished Contributions to Forensic Psychology from the American Academy of Forensic Psychology (AAFP) and was recently named a Distinguished Professor of Psychology. She remains active in providing forensic evaluation services for the courts in the state of Texas. During the past ten years, she has co-authored two books on risk assessment, as well as a number of articles and book chapters.

Title: Principles of Forensic Mental Health Assessment
Presenter: Kirk Heilbrun, PhD, ABPP
Date and Time: Thursday, April 5 (8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.)

This workshop is centered around the presentation of 38 broad, foundational principles of forensic mental health assessment.  Each principle is accompanied by a guideline to help in its application to case material.  The workshop is interactive; questions and comments are encouraged, particularly as they relate to participants’ own practices.

Psychologists attending this workshop will be able to:
  • Identify 38 principles of forensic mental health assessment and implications for practice
  • Distinguish the four domains of support relevant to the derivation and support of each principle
  • Identify guidelines associated with each principle
  • Distinguish between original (2001) principles and revised (2009) principles
  • Identify the practice implications for the principles and associated guidelines
  • Integrate the principles and guidelines into their forensic practice
  • Apply the principles and guidelines to sample case report material
  • Integrate the principles into consideration of racial, ethnic, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic diversity
Kirk Heilbrun, PhD, ABPP is a professor in the Department of Psychology at Drexel University.  He received his doctorate in clinical psychology in 1980 from the University of Texas at Austin, and completed postdoctoral fellowship training from 1981-82 in psychology and criminal justice at Florida State University.  His current research focuses on juvenile and adult offenders, legal decision-making, and the evaluation and interventions associated with such decision-making.  He is the author of articles on forensic assessment, violence risk assessment and risk communication, and the treatment of mentally disordered offenders, and has published 13 books in these areas. He previously served as president of both the American Psychology-Law Psychology/APA Division 41, and the American Board of Forensic Psychology. He received the 2004 Distinguished Contributions to Forensic Psychology award and the 2008 Beth Clark Distinguished Service Contribution Award, both from the American Academy of Forensic Psychology, and the 2016 Distinguished Contributions to Psychology and Law award from the American Psychology-Law Society.

Title: Critical Thinking in Forensic Psychological Evaluation
Presenter: Terry Kukor, PhD, ABPP
Date and Time: Thursday, April 5 (8:45 a.m. – 4:45 p.m.)

Although each type of forensic psychological evaluation addresses a different and specific question, this workshop focuses on the decision-making process that cuts across all types of forensic evaluations. We will review research examining clinical decision-making and judgment under uncertainty. Specific critical thinking skills, logical fallacies, and potential threats to objectivity are reviewed in the context of the reasoning process that is necessary for effective interpretation and synthesis of data in forensic practice.

Psychologists attending this workshop will be able to:
  • Identify threats to objectivity in forensic evaluation
  • Describe the essential characteristics of critical thinking
  • Articulate sources of potential bias
  • Identify strategies to minimize the influence of bias on the objective consideration of diversity factors (e.g., race, culture, sexual orientation) in forensic evaluation
  • Describe possible remedies to minimize the influence of bias
  • Identify the types of logical fallacies that reduce accuracy in critical thinking
  • Articulate the structural and rhetorical elements of a well-crafted argument
Terry Kukor, PhD, ABPP, is a licensed psychologist and board certified in forensic psychology by the American Board of Professional Psychology. He is the Director of Forensic and Specialized Assessment Services for Netcare Access in Columbus, Ohio. He holds adjunct faculty appointments in the Psychology Departments at Drexel University and Miami University, and in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health at The Ohio State University. Dr. Kukor has specialized in criminal forensic evaluation for more than 25 years, during which time he has performed a wide variety of forensic evaluations, including criminal responsibility, competence to stand trial, juvenile competency & waiver, violence risk assessment, and threat assessment. He is an approved trainer for the American Academy of Forensic Psychology and the Suicide Prevention Resource Center, and is a threat assessment consultant for Work Trauma Services Inc. He performs and supervises criminal forensic evaluations on court-referred adults and juveniles, does fitness for duty evaluations for the Federal Aviation Administration, and consults with a regional office of the FBI. He is a Co-Chair for the AAFP CE Workshops.

Title: Assessing for Malleability of Implicit Bias in Police Officer Candidates: Evidence and Methods
Presenter: David M. Corey, PhD, ABPP
Date and Time: Friday, April 6 (8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.)

A large body of evidence demonstrates that attitudes and stereotypes about race, ethnicity, social class, gender, age, appearance, and other individual differences can affect one’s understanding, decisions, and actions. This workshop provides an overview of the implicit bias research and a discussion of the particularly serious implications of implicit bias for police officers and the communities they serve. Although implicit bias operates involuntarily and automatically, mounting research indicates that it is malleable in individuals with certain traits and characteristics. This workshop focuses on the constructs shown in the literature to contribute to the malleability of implicit bias, and concludes with methods for assessing those constructs in police applicants through the integration of findings from psychological testing, personal history or background review, and clinical interview. This workshop does not address the effects of implicit bias on the psychologist conducting the evaluation, which is a topic in Dr. Kukor’s workshop, “Critical Thinking in Forensic Psychological Evaluation.”

Psychologists attending this workshop will be able to:
  • Define implicit bias
  • Describe the particular risks that implicit bias poses for police officers and the communities served by them, particularly marginalized persons
  • Explain how characteristics of an individual can inhibit the automatic and unintended operation of implicit bias
  • Describe three construct domains for assessing implicit bias malleability
  • Describe seven construct dimensions for assessing implicit bias malleability
  • Specify which malleability dimensions can be assessed with findings from psychological testing, and how
  • Specify which malleability dimensions can be assessed with findings from the clinical interview and a candidate’s background, and how
David M. Corey, PhD, ABPP, is an experienced police psychologist and scientist-practitioner who has published extensively on preemployment evaluations of police officer candidates and fitness-for-duty evaluations of police officers. He is co-author of the California POST Psychological Screening Manual (Spilberg & Corey, 2017), the MMPI-2-RF Police Candidate Interpretive Report (Corey & Ben-Porath, 2014), and the upcoming textbook, Using the MMPI-2-RF to Assess Police & Public Safety Personnel: A Practical Guide (Corey & Ben-Porath, slated for publication in spring 2018). Dr. Corey is the founding president of the American Board of Police & Public Safety Psychology.

Title: Advanced Threat Assessment and Management
Presenter: Kostas A. Katsavdakis, PhD, ABPP
Date and Time: Friday, April 6 (8:45 a.m. – 4:45 p.m.)

This training focuses on threat assessment for targeted or intended violence. Content includes differences between threat assessment and more traditional violence risk assessment, data on affective (reactive) v. predatory (instrumental) violence, a theoretical typology of warning behaviors--accelerating patterns of risk in such cases--and some confirmatory empirical data, and specific findings from various domains of targeted violence, such as stalking, lone-wolf attacks, and targeting of public figures.  We review several structured assessment methods to assess/manage threat across a variety of settings.  In addition, the training identifies emerging empirical research on threat assessment and review of multiple management strategies tailored to the reduction of threat.

Psychologists attending this workshop will be able to:
  • Identify key behavioral, emotional and biological differences between different forms of violence
  • Distinguish between the key elements of an effective threat assessment model versus risk assessment model
  • Identify and operationalize warning behaviors
  • List relevant cultural and ethnic factors in threat assessment and management
  • List practice tools for threat management and intervention
  • Distinguish between key elements for threat assessment across context, such as stalking, workplace violence or lone-wolf attacks
  • Develop concrete strategies of how to orally and in writing communicate with referral sources and follow-up for long planning/management
Kostas A. Katsavdakis, PhD, ABPP, is a licensed psychologist and is board certified in forensic psychology.  Dr. Katsavdakis conducts threat assessments/management, including at the request of the United States Attorney’s Office, Eastern District of New York for counterterrorism related cases and as an Associate with Work Trauma Services.   In addition to his forensic and threat management practice, he maintains a clinical caseload, providing individual treatment for adults and juveniles.   Dr. Katsavdakis is currently an Associate Professor-Adjunct at John Jay College of Criminal Justice where he teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in psychology of criminal behavior, forensic psychological testing, assessment of psychopathy and psychology/law.

Title: Insanity Defense Evaluations
Presenter: Phillip J. Resnick, MD
Date and Time: Saturday, April 7 (8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.)

The distinctions between the defenses of not guilty by reason of insanity and diminished capacity will be explained.  Tests for criminal responsibility will be placed in their historical perspective including the Wild Beast Test, the M'Naghten standard, the Irresistible Impulse test, the Durham Rule, and the Model Penal Code.  Clues to knowledge of wrongfulness (legal and moral) and ability to refrain will be delineated.  The presenter will discuss which diseases may qualify for an insanity defense.  The role of intoxication will be explained.  Considerable emphasis will be given to the clinical detection of malingered psychosis.  Participants will learn how to organize insanity opinions.  Participants will practice writing an insanity opinion after watching a videotaped case vignette.

Psychologists attending this workshop will be able to:
  • Evaluate criminal defendants for insanity
  • Distinguish between Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity and Diminished Capacity
  • Identify components of more effective and persuasive insanity opinions
  • Identify indicators of malingered psychosis
  • Identify four signs of malingered insanity
  • Identify cross examiners’ techniques in attacking expert testimony on insanity
  • Incorporate cultural factors when conducting insanity evaluations
Phillip J. Resnick, MD, is a Professor of Psychiatry and Director, Division of Forensic Psychiatry at Case School of Medicine in Cleveland, Ohio. Dr. Resnick served as a consultant in many high profile cases, including those of Jeffrey Dahmer, Susan Smith, Timothy McVeigh, Andrea Yates, Scott Peterson, Casey Anthony, Theodore Kaczynski, the Unabomber, and James Holmes. Dr. Resnick is a past president of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law.  He has published over 200 articles and book chapters.  He is internationally recognized and has lectured in 49 states and 24 countries.

Title: Forensic Applications of the Personality Assessment Inventory (PAI)
Presenter: Mark A. Ruiz, PhD, ABPP
Date and Time: Saturday, April 7 (8:45 a.m. – 4:45 p.m.)

The workshop focuses on forensic applications of the Personality Assessment Inventory (PAI) primarily in criminal and correctional settings.  Participants are provided information on the background and rationale for the instrument’s development.  A detailed review of interpretive guidelines is offered within the context of case studies to help illustrate application of the PAI in real-world settings.  The training also highlights major findings in the body of empirical research and comparisons will be made between the PAI and other assessment instruments.  Last, the workshop reviews recent developments for assessing DSM-5 personality disorder with the PAI.

Psychologists attending this workshop will be able to:
  • Describe major trends in current PAI research
  • Describe and analyze PAI indicators of profile invalidity
  • Identify strengths/weaknesses of the PAI as it pertains to clinical and forensic evaluations
  • Analyze and interpret specific PAI score configurations
  • Interpret PAI results pertaining to opinions of risk, treatment needs, and responsiveness
  • Identify strengths and weaknesses of the PAI when used with racial/ethnic minorities
  • Compare and contrast the PAI with other commonly used assessment instruments
  • Understand recent developments in the use of the PAI for evaluating DSM-5 personality disorders
Mark A. Ruiz, PhD, ABPP, is currently the program manager of a VA Homelessness program at the James A. Haley Veteran’s Hospital in Tampa, Florida.  He also operates a private practice that focuses exclusively on criminal forensic evaluations.  He is an Associate Editor for the journal, Assessment.  Dr. Ruiz has published multiple peer-review journal articles related to the PAI and he is a co-author of the Interpretive Report for Correctional Settings (PAI-CS) with Dr. John Edens.  Dr. Ruiz received his doctorate degree from the Pennsylvania State University in 2000 and he became board certified in forensic psychology in 2014.

Half-Day Workshops (4 Credit Hours per Workshop)

Title: Child Murder by Parents
Presenter: Phillip J. Resnick, MD
Date and Time: Sunday, April 8 (8:30 a.m. -12:30 p.m.)

Andrea Yates and Susan Smith have increased public awareness about parents killing their children.  Among depressed mothers with children under three, 41% report thoughts of killing their children.  The motives for killing newborns (neonaticide) will be distinguished from the killing of children older than 24 hours (filicide).  Child murder will be divided into 5 categories: altruistic, acutely psychotic, unwanted child, child maltreatment, and spouse revenge.  Dr. Resnick will discuss the perpetrators' and their spouses' reactions to the homicides.  Videotaped examples of cases of altruistic filicide (Yates) and neonaticide will serve as a basis for the discussion.  Strategies for prevention will be covered.

Psychologists attending this workshop will be able to:
  • Describe the differences between filicide and neonaticide
  • Classify five categories of child murder based on motive
  • Identify the motives of mothers who kill their newborns
  • Specify the role of gender in which child killers are most likely to succeed with an insanity defense
Please see Dr. Resnick’s bio above.

Title: Ethics in Forensic Practice
Presenter: Michelle Guyton, PhD, ABPP
Date and Time: Sunday, April 8 (8:45 a.m. – 12:45 p.m.)

This half-day workshop uses a case-based approach with active discussion to consider various ethical issues as they pertain to forensic clinical psychology. Ethical principles from psychology and psychiatry will be explored and applied to different cases.

Psychologists attending this workshop will be able to:
  • Identify main ethical imperatives across forensic clinical cases
  • Apply ethical principles to a broad range of forensic clinical cases
  • Describe and apply an ethical decision-making model
  • Consider the intersection of ethics and cultural issues in a variety of forensic clinical work
Michelle Guyton, PhD, ABPP, is a licensed psychologist and is board-certified in forensic psychology. She practices in Oregon at the Northwest Forensic Institute. Dr. Guyton specializes in forensic and correctional psychology and conducts a variety of forensic evaluations including competency, criminal responsibility, mitigation, risk assessment, and fitness for duty. She also provides consultation and education services for state and other agencies and attorneys in capital cases. Dr. Guyton is the Director of the Oregon Forensic Evaluator Training Program which provides ongoing education for all psychiatrists and psychologists who perform competency and insanity evaluations in the state. Dr. Guyton is the postdoctoral training director at Northwest Forensic Institute. Before developing a full-time forensic practice, she taught for 10 years at the School of Graduate Psychology at Pacific University.


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