Forensic psychiatry is a specialty of the science related to criminology. Criminal Justice majors with research papers due in forensic psychiatry often look to Paper Masters to help them define exactly what the work of a forensic psychiatrist is. Paper Masters flushes out the topics related to forensic anthropology and apply them to the duties of the forensic psychiatrist.
Much of the work of forensic psychiatry takes place through the court system as these specialists are frequently called in to determine if an individual is competent to stand trial. Forensic psychiatrists are also instrumental in helping individuals develop defenses based on mental health conditions, such as the famed “insanity defense.” Forensic psychiatry has developed two major areas for criminal evaluation:
- Competency to Stand Trial (CST)
- Mental State at the Time of Offense (MSO)
Determining Competency to Stand Trial
The CST is the series of testing that takes place to determine if a defendant has the mental capacity to understand the crimes with which he or she has been charged. According to the Fifth Amendment, an accused individual has the right to face one’s accusers, be present at trial, and be able to assist their attorney in creating a defense. Mentally ill individuals are not necessarily able to assist in these endeavors.
Determining Mental State at the Time of the Offense
The MSO is an opinion as to whether an individual understood his or her actions during the committing of a crime. The ruling of “not guilty by reason of insanity” is one possible outcome from the ruling that a person was mentally ill and incapable of understanding his or her actions during the committing of a crime. Forensic psychiatrists work with prisoners and the mentally ill who have committed crimes to assess the risk these individuals pose to society.