Evaluation of Criminal Responsibility/Insanity

Evaluation of Criminal Responsibility/Insanity


20 Hours | 20 CEs (CEUs)

Program Description

This self-paced training program on Evaluation of Criminal Responsibility/Insanity is presented by Dr. Ira Packer.

This program provides a comprehensive overview of evaluations of criminal responsibility (insanity; mental state at the time of the offense). Best practices are described and the empirical basis for evaluation in this area are highlighted. Participants are given an overview of the legal standards and context for criminal responsibility evaluations are presented. The empirical research on criminal responsibility and insanity acquittees are presented and best practices in preparing for these evaluations are emphasized. Finally, data collection and the importance of third-party and corroborating data are discussed.

Additionally, the evaluation process, including the interview and relevant testing, are discussed with a focus on case formulation. Case conceptualization, data integration, formulation, report writing, expert testimony regarding insanity and criminal responsibility are discussed.

The fee for this training program is $500 and includes all materials.

Intended Audience

This training program is relevant for professionals who want to develop skills in forensic evaluation, including psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, and other mental health professionals who intend to add evaluation of criminal responsibility (insanity) to their forensic practice. This training program is appropriate for beginner, intermediate, and advanced level clinicians.

Upon completion of this course, participants should be able to:


  • Describe the best practices and the empirical basis for evaluation in this area
  • Describe the legal standards for criminal responsibility

  • Describe the context for criminal responsibility

  • Describe the empirical research on criminal responsibility and insanity

  • Describe data collection and importance of third-party and corroborating data

  • Describe the evaluation process and case formulation
  • Describe interviews and relevant testing

  • Describe case conceptualization
  • Describe data integration
  • Describe formulation
  • Describe report writing regarding insanity and criminal responsibility

    About Dr. Ira Packer


    Ira K. Packer, Ph.D., Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, directs the highly respected UMMS Postdoctoral Residency Program in Forensic Psychology, and directs the Forensic Evaluation Service at Worcester Recovery Center and Hospital. He also is the Director of the Massachusetts Center of Excellence for Specialty Courts. Dr. Packer previously served (1993-1996) as the Assistant Commissioner for Forensic Mental Health in Massachusetts. He has been a practicing forensic psychologist for over 35 years, with a particular focus on evaluations of criminal responsibility, competence to stand trial, and violence risk assessment.

    Dr. Packer has served in a number of leadership capacities affecting Forensic Psychology nationally. He was a member of the examination faculty for the American Board of Forensic Psychology (ABFP) and has previously served as National Chair of Examinations, Vice-President, and President of ABFP. He has also served as Vice-President and President of the American Academy of Forensic Psychology (AAFP). Dr. Packer chaired the Forensic Specialty Council that developed the Education and Training Guidelines for Forensic Psychology (which enables, for the first time, accreditation by APA of Postdoctoral Residencies in Forensic Psychology). He has also served as Vice President (2007) and President (2008-2009) of the Council of Specialties in Professional Psychology. In 2007, Dr. Packer was presented with the Distinguished Contributions to Forensic Psychology Award by the American Academy of Forensic Psychology.

    Dr. Packer received his B.A from Columbia University in 1974 and his Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania in 1979. He has provided numerous workshops and presentations nationally, including topics such as Criminal Responsibility, Violence Risk Assessment, and Expert Witness testimony. He has numerous publications including two books: Packer, I.K. (2009). Evaluation of Criminal Responsibility. New York, NY: Oxford University Press; Packer, I.K. and Grisso, T. (2011). Specialty Competencies in Forensic Psychology. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

    This training program is excellent for forensic mental health professionsal that want to add evaluation of criminal responsibility/insanity to their practice.


    Participants will learn about the legal standards and context for criminal responsibility evaluations


    Participants will learn about empirical research and case formulation. There will be a focus on interview and relevant testing


    Participants will learn about case formulation, data integration, report writing, and expert testimony regarding insanity and criminal responsibility

    “I enjoyed the presentation styles of the presenters and the relevant and
    informative information presented. Thank you.”

    “The information was imparted well and it was helpful to have the practice examples. This was a great training.”

    “The resource materials were easily accessible and relevant and the entire training process was excellent.”

    Continuing Education Credit

    This Distance Learning Course is a Home Study Training Program. To earn CEs you are required to complete all course materials, quizzes, and the evaluation. No partial credit is available. A score of 70% is required to proceed; you will be able to re-take any quiz on which you score less than 70%. Participants will earn 20 CE hours upon completion of these requirements. Each participant will be able to download and print the CE certificate upon completion of the final evaluation.

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

    Your satisfaction with our programs, products and services is important to us; however, because these are immediately made available to you upon registration and payment, we do not issue refunds. Should you find that a particular program, product or service is not the right fit for you, we will assist you in crediting your registration towards another one of our offerings that might better suit you.

    We specialize in training groups — from a handful to hundreds — and are happy to contact you to discuss your group training needs.

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