My philosophy of forensic psychology is centered around a belief that the court system, when provided with excellent information, can be highly effective at making just decisions. Every case has a set of facts. Often, the function of a forensic psychological evaluation is to provide the context in which those facts exist. As the court strives to make the most just disposition of a case, knowing more about the person who allegedly committed the act is important to determining how best to respond to the act itself.
An excellent forensic psychological evaluation is a window in to how a particular event sits in the context of an individual’s life. Guilt versus innocence is clearly the core issue at hand. Yet placing the transgression in context can lead to very different and more appropriate results.
Likewise with civil disputes, a superior forensic psychological evaluation gives the court rich perspectives on the parties involved, their life experiences, their assets, their liabilities, and often their motives. Judgments regarding custody, conservatorships, and guardianships can all be substantially improved when the court has a more comprehensive understanding of the human beings involved.
When an attorney refers a case to us, our goal is to provide the court with the clearest possible understanding of the context within which the facts of the case reside. The methods of forensic psychology are effective tools to accomplish this purpose.