Blowing the whistle on improperly finding competent to stand trial
March 11, 2014 1:35 PM Subscribe
posted by larrybob (19 comments total)
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Melody Jo Samuelson, a staff psychologist at California's Napa State Hospital (Previously
), recently won a million-dollar judgement against the state and her supervisors
. She had been told to declare mentally ill patients competent to stand trial.Samuelson’s court complaint alleged that James Jones, the Napa hospital’s chief of psychology, “made it clear … that he was committed to … returning patients to court as competent to stand trial.” To do that, Jones lowered evaluation standards and pressured staff to use unreliable methods to determine patients’ competency, according to the complaint. One assessment technique, the complaint said, used a “mock trial” method that prepared patients to answer evaluation questions by rote memorization.