The Supreme Court of the United States heard Kahler v. Kansas, a case particularly relevant to CLASS, on 10/07/2019. At issue is whether defendants' due process rights are violated when they do not have the option of posing a traditional insanity defense. The American Psychological Association, along with the American Psychiatric Association and the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law, filed an amicus brief supporting Kahler's position. It is critical to remember, as noted in the brief, that the insanity defense is not "used and abused." Indeed, we know that very few defendants attempt an insanity defense, and Kois & Chauhan (2018), in their meta-analysis, found that approximately 13% of defendants who pose the defense are found not criminally responsible. You can hear the SCOTUS oral arguments here, the transcript here, and a re-cap here. The case is pending.
Lt. Scott teaches CLASS members how to safely handcuff research participants for our projects on the influence of handcuffs on state anxiety, frustration, and personality measurement
Congrats to Associate Professor Dr. Jenni Cox, a newly-appointed Associate Editor at Law and Human Behavior!
Haley Potts passes thesis proposal, the Impact of Defendants' Clinical Presentation and Medication Status on Mock Juror Perceptions of Insanity, chaired by Dr. Kois
Her thesis committee, consisting of Jennifer Cox, PhD; William Hart, PhD; and Christopher Slobogin, JD, LLM, gave great suggestions regarding theoretical approach and methods. We look forward to integrating their feedback to build a stronger study and help boost its "So what?" factor. Congrats Haley!
Doctoral student Haley Potts voted AP-LS Student Committee Clinical Liaison for the second year in a row! Congrats Haley!
Doctoral student Ashley Peck voted the American Psychology-Law Society Student Committee's Communications Officer! Go Ashley!
Congrats to Haley Potts, the new Student Member of AP-LS's Professional Development of Women Committee!
About the committee: This committee was formed in 2008 and comprises male and female AP-LS members who represent both practice and academic settings. The committee's goal is to promote the professional development of women, particularly during early to later career transitions. By identifying and addressing potential obstacles to career advancement, we hope to promote better representation of women at top levels of academic and professional rank (full professors; diplomates) and greater recognition of women's achievement in APLS and AAFP. Through conference events, mentoring and an email list, the committee targets areas of professional development intended to appeal to women and men at all levels of their career, such as: negotiating professional relationships, balancing work and family, and putting oneself forward for career advancement and awards.
Honorary CLASS member Lauren Meaux, MA, presents research with Drs. Kois and Cox at the AP-LS conference in March
Dr. Kois was awarded a 100% research sabbatical via UA's Arts and Sciences Program for Intensive Research (ASPIRE) for the Fall 2020 semester.
Dr. Kois, James Reed, and Drs. Chauhan and Warren have a new manuscript in press with Journal of Forensic Psychology: Research & Practice.
Abstract: Although research highlights the influence of individual and case characteristics on outcomes of competence to stand trial (CST), mental state at the time of the offense (MSO), and combined evaluations (CST and MSO), we know little about differences in these characteristics across referral type. Using a sample of 2,655 evaluations in Virginia over a 15-year span, we examined demographic, clinical, and legal characteristics associated with whether defense attorneys referred individuals for CST-only, MSO-only, or combined evaluations. Multinomial regression revealed that Non-White individuals and those diagnosed with psychotic disorders were more often evaluated for CST-only, relative to MSO-only or combined evaluations. Individuals with organic or developmental disorders were more often seen for CST-only or combined evaluations. Violent charges were associated with MSO evaluations, either alone or with CST. Individuals who were under the influence of a substance at the time of the offense or had a prior conviction were more likely to be seen for combined evaluations compared to CST-only evaluations. There was more differentiation in CST-only from MSO-only and combined evaluations than from MSO-only versus combined evaluations. Findings are interpreted while considering legal professionals’ potential referral motives. We discuss important implications within the context of fundamental fairness for all individuals in the criminal justice system, particularly given results on racial differences.
Congrats to Aislinn Tansey, who will be attending Drexel University's Psychology MS Program, under the supervision of Dr. Dave DeMatteo!
Drs. Kois, Gonzales, & Chauhan, along with graduate RAs Kortney Hill and Shelby Hunter, have a new manuscript in press in Criminal Justice Policy Review.
The new paper is titled Correctional officer mental health training: Analysis of 52 U.S. jurisdictions.
Abstract: Research indicates correctional officer (CO) mental health training may facilitate the safety and security of incarcerated individuals and COs. We assessed Department of Corrections’ CO pre-service (requisite for beginning an official post) mental health training requirements in 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the Federal Bureau of Prisons. All jurisdictions require mental health training, ranging from 1.5 to 80 hours (M = 13.54, SD = 14.58, Med = 8). The most common course topic is crisis intervention (n = 44, 84.62%), followed by general psychoeducation (n = 24, 46.15%), special populations (n = 12, 23.08%), specific clinical interventions (n = 7, 13.46%), institutional procedure specific to mental health (n = 6, 11.54%), and CO mental health and self-care (n = 4, 7.69%). Future research should examine whether CO mental health training relates to mental health outcomes, institutional metrics, and variations in training at the national and international levels.
RAs Aislinn Tansey, Whitney Hovater, and Mercedes Taylor presented awesome posters at the URSCA conference! Congrats!
RAs Aislinn Tansey and Mary Tate Thomas presented their top-notch research at the 2019 URCA conference
The Undergraduate Research & Creative Activity Conference is a premier annual event at The University of Alabama that provides undergraduates an opportunity to highlight their research or creative activity. In addition to bringing attention to the excellent work of University students, the Conference allows students to gain experience presenting, compete for cash prizes and form relationships with their faculty mentors and fellow Conference presenters.
Aislinn's research was on priming effects in forensic evaluations and Mary Tate's was on forensic mental health in Cuba during and after the embargo. Well done!