January 21, 2020 Mental Health

Says You! The Use of Interpreters in Forensic Mental Health Assessment

Eric Y. Drogin

The very first entry for this column placed considerable emphasis on difficulties in “deciphering the roles and opinions of mental health experts.” How much more complicated does this become when, in addition to our not being able to understand what the doctor is saying, the doctor can’t understand what the examinee is saying—or, at least, can’t do so without someone else’s help? Let’s explore how a prosecutor might consult with a reputable forensic psychologist in order to ensure that appropriate assistance can be obtained when evaluators and examinees are literally speaking different languages.

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