Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master Of Arts In Clinical Psychology

Colleges & School

College Of Arts And Sciences

First Advisor

Brad Grunert, PhD

Library of Congress Subject Heading

Juvenile delinquents; Juvenile justice, Administration of--United States; Mental health services--In adolescence


Competency to stand trial evaluations surfaced during the late 1990’s. These evaluations were introduced to the justice system to deter juveniles with severe mental health issues from being wrongfully convicted of a crime. Many factors are considered during these evaluations such as whether or not a juvenile is capable of understanding the charges and potential consequences, capable of understanding the trial process and if they possess the capacity to participate in courtroom proceedings and assist his or her attorney in their defense. Other factors that should be considered when evaluating these individuals are maturity, age, and cognitive functioning. These factors play a significant role in a juvenile’s rational and factual understanding of legal proceedings and appreciation of the law. The goal of juvenile corrections is to rehabilitate and or treat individuals within the justice system and incorporate them back into society. In order to achieve this goal, one must examine whether or not the criminal act warrants punishment by law. If so, is it appropriate to “lock up” a juvenile and reintegrate back into the community without allowing the opportunity to offer community based resources from the start. It is hypothesized that judges in the state of Wisconsin would agree that competence to stand trial evaluations with juveniles are differentiated from adult evaluations. It is further hypothesized that judges within the State of Wisconsin and in Juvenile Justice Centers would agree that immaturity plays a role in a juveniles’ capacity to have a rational understanding and factual understanding of court proceedings as well as assist his or her attorney in their defense. From the results of those surveyed, the judges in the State of Wisconsin agreed that competence to stand trial evaluations with juveniles need reforming.


On-Campus Access

OCLC Number