Dominique R. Mangum
Diagnosis and Assessment of Criminal Offenders
According to chapter 6 mental health assessments seek to answer questions such as why people think, feel, and behave in different ways. An offender may be assessed before trial, after trial, while incarcerated, or when on parole. Assessments provide information about and individual’s underlying personality or intelligence, which is less subject to change over time. They also reflect how an individual is thinking, feeling, and functioning at the time that he or she takes the test. Questions range from traditional issues concerning intellect and emotional functioning that’s relevant to an offenders functioning while incarcerated, to psycho-legal issues such as insanity and competency. Problems that occur in correctional settings may occur in correctional settings may increase the need of a mentally disturbed person for mental health services. It’s important for staff to be able to recognize signs and symptoms and to use certain information to make appropriate referrals. Correctional staff plays an important role in the assessment of inmates and probationers by providing information for the mental health professional. They are unique in observance because they interact with the inmates and witness them in a variety of situations and contexts. Correctional officials lay a major role, and their ability to observe and communicate with the inmates is very important. They should know what information is important and how to interpret that information o the mental health professionals. Mental health professionals use the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Forth Edition, Text Revision also known as DSM-IV-TR to determine the mental health categories. Many professionals use the armchair diagnoses because it is common even though it is know to also be incorrect. Mislabeling can cause problems for both the offender and the staff. Although the DSM-IV-TR...