Competence to Stand Trial

Clinical and Legal Considerations
  • J. Richard Ciccone
Part of the Critical Issues in American Psychiatry and the Law book series (CIAP, volume 5)


One of the most important and most frequent requests that courts make of psychiatrists is to give an opinion on a defendant’s competence to stand trial. It is difficult to determine the number of psychiatric evaluations for competence to stand trial in a given year in the United States. One study found that 12% of the individuals referred to a court clinic setting were referred for evaluation of their competence to stand trial. In fact, a larger number of referrals had been sent with a request for an evaluation of competence but, on further discussion with the referring person, it was clear that what was being requested in many cases was a psychiatric evaluation regarding need for treatment.


Supra Note Acad Psychiatry Forensic Psychiatry Civil Commitment Insanity Defense 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. Richard Ciccone
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychiatryUniversity of Rochester School of Medicine and DentistryRochesterUSA

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