NYSAP: Key Differences Between Juvenile Competency and Adult Competency Evaluations

Presented By Ivan Kruh, PhD | Christina L. Riggs Romaine, PhD
Ivan Kruh, PhD Christina L. Riggs Romaine, PhD

3 Hours | 3 CEs

This on-demand professional training program on Key Differences Between Juvenile Competency and Adult Competency Evaluations is presented by Ivan Kruh, Ph.D. and Christina R. Riggs Romaine, Ph.D. in partnership with The National Youth Screening & Assessment Partners (NYSAP).

In recent years, many U.S. jurisdictions have enacted statutory guidance around the conducting of competency evaluations for juvenile court cases. Evaluators with a history of conducting competency evaluations in criminal court cases may be required, recruited, or asked to assist with competency evaluations of juveniles. However, there are critical differences between these two tasks.

This program reviews the types of questions, data, and analyses uniquely necessary when conducting juvenile competency evaluations as opposed to competency evaluations of adults. Grisso’s (1986) Five Question Model for conducting competency evaluations is used to structure the discussion. Within each question, participants are introduced to the ways that differences between adolescents and adults, as well as the unique procedures of the juvenile justice context, will impact what must be considered.

Intended Audience

This on-demand professional training program is intended for mental health and other allied professionals

Experience Level

This on-demand professional training program is appropriate for beginner, intermediate, and advanced level clinicians.

CE / CPD Credit

APA, ASWB, CPA, NBCC Click here for state and other regional board approvals.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this program you will be able to:

Describe how competence standards in juvenile courts sometimes differ from those in criminal court, as well as how these differences may impact the evaluation process

Describe why normal developmental immaturity can yield competency deficits, both directly and in interaction with mental health symptoms and cognitive limitations

Describe the unique types of competency-related deficits adolescents may demonstrate in the areas of factual understanding, rational appreciation, assisting counsel, and legal decision-making

Describe how relationships with caregivers, peers, and legal personnel can impact the context within which juveniles must be able to function competently

Describe the unique challenges of remediating the incompetence of youths and how this may impact their opinions about “restorability.”


Presented By

Ivan Kruh, PhD

Dr. Ivan Kruh received his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology with a concentrated study of Forensic Psychology from the University of Alabama. For ten years, he was the Director of Juvenile Forensic Evaluations in Washington State and coordinated a post-doctoral fellowship in Juvenile Forensic Psychology ...

Presented By

Christina L. Riggs Romaine, PhD

Dr. Christina L. Riggs Romaine received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology with a concentration in Forensic Psychology at Drexel University. She completed a post-doctoral fellowship in Forensic Psychology at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in collaboration with the Department of Youth S...


1. Introduction

2. CST and Juvenile Competency to Proceed

3. Developmentally Sensitive Data Collection

4. Grisso's Competency Evaluation Model

5. Casual Question

6. Functional Question

7. Contextual Question

8. Remediation Question

Develop a Specialty Area of Practice

Transforming mental health professionals into experts

Expert Instructors

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CE Credit

Earn CE credit for meaningful professional training that will elevate your practice

Convenience & Flexibility

Learn at your own pace, from wherever you might be!

Program Partner

The National Youth Screening & Assessment Partners (NYSAP)

The National Youth Screening & Assessment Partners (NYSAP) is a technical assistance and research group, dedicated to helping juvenile justice and related programs nationwide. Since 2000, NYSAP has assisted juvenile justice systems to make decisions about adolescents that are consistent with youths’ health and positive development and with the community’s interests by helping systems use reliable, evidence-based methods for screening and assessment. We provide training, technical assistance, and quality implementation services to agencies and programs in the areas of risk screening and risk-needs assessment, behavioral health screening, and competence to stand trial evaluations. NYSAP professionals have played a key role for 25 years in research on juveniles’ competence to stand trial and in developing juvenile competence standards for forensic clinical practice, law, and policy. In response to the growing demand for juvenile competence evaluations nationally, we provide consultation to assist agencies in developing or refining their juvenile competence service delivery system, as well as creating and conducting quality assurance procedures. We train clinicians and juvenile justice stakeholders (e.g., judges, attorneys, and community partners) in practice standards for conducting high-quality juvenile competence evaluations.

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