AuthorGILL, SHEILA MCVEIGH.
KeywordsPre-sentence investigation reports -- United States.
Social work with juvenile delinquents.
Social work with criminals.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractPre-sentence evaluations are commonly prepared by court clinics to assist the court in sentencing dispositions and plans for treatment of offenders. There is no standard policy in effect for advising a defendant of his legal rights prior to evaluation by a mental health professional for purposes of a pre-sentence report. The aim of this study was to gain a better understanding of the effects that different types of briefing or warning statements may have upon clients in a court clinic. The present study systematically investigated two factors in briefings given before a pre-sentence evaluation. The first factor was the nonverbal communication of the person giving the briefing. The effects of these briefing manipulations were assessed in terms of client behavior and mental health evaluator's impression of the client. Specifically, these dependent variables were measured by MMPI scales L, K, and Pd, an Evaluation Rating Scale, a Briefing Questionnaire, a Psychopathology Rating Scale and a Nonverbal Behavior Record Form. A set of hypotheses was forwarded which predicted that these behavioral indices would vary as a result of changes in briefing procedure. Contrary to predictions, results indicated that the briefing procedures had no significant effect upon any of the measures of clients' behavior. While questionnaire data indicated that subjects were affected by the type of briefing immediately after the briefing was given, it appears that these effects were of very short duration. These findings are discussed with regard to the methodology of the present study and with regard to previous research concerned with Miranda warnings.