Grisso, Thomas 1942–

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Grisso, Thomas 1942–

PERSONAL:

Born October 17, 1942, in Dayton, OH. Education: Ashland University, B.A., 1964; University of Arizona, Ph.D., 1969.

ADDRESSES:

Office—Center for Mental Health Services Research, 55 Lake Ave. N., Worcester, MA 01655. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER:

Writer, educator. Ashland University, Ashland, OH, 1969-74, began as assistant professor, became associate professor; St. Louis University, St. Louis, MO, 1974-87, began as associate professor of psychology and law, became professor of psychology; University of Massachusetts, Worcester, MA, director of the Mental Health and Law Core at the Center for Mental Health Services Research, and coordinator of the Law-Psychiatry Program within the psychiatry department of the University of Massachusetts Medical School, 1987—.

MEMBER:

American Psychological Association, American Board of Professional Psychology (diplomate), American Academy of Forensic Psychology.

AWARDS, HONORS:

Doctor of Laws, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York, 1998; Guttmacher Award, 2000 and 2002; Society for Research on Adolescence best book award, 2002.

WRITINGS:

Juveniles' Waiver of Rights: Legal and Psychological Competence, Plenum (New York, NY), 1981.

Evaluating Competencies: Forensic Assessments and Instruments, Plenum (New York, NY), 1986, 2nd edition, 2003.

Competency to Stand Trial Evaluations: A Manual for Practice, Professional Resources Exchange (Sarasota, FL), 1988.

(Editor, with C. Ferris) Understanding Aggressive Behavior in Children, New York Academy of Sciences (New York, NY), 1996.

(With Paul S. Appelbaum) Assessing Competence to Consent to Treatment: A Guide for Physicians and Other Health Care Professionals, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 1998.

Forensic Evaluation of Juveniles, Professional Resources Exchange (Sarasota, FL), 1998.

Instruments for Assessing Understanding & Appreciation of Miranda Rights, Professional Resources Exchange (Sarasota, FL), 1998.

(Editor, with Robert G. Schwartz) Youth on Trial: A Developmental Perspective on Juvenile Justice, University of Chicago Press (Chicago, IL), 2000.

(With others) Rethinking Risk Assessment: The MacArthur Study of Mental Disorder and Violence, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 2001.

Double Jeopardy: Adolescent Offenders with Mental Disorders, University of Chicago Press (Chicago, IL), 2004.

(Editor, with Gina Vincent and Daniel Seagrave) Mental Health Screening and Assessment in Juvenile Justice, Guilford Press (New York, NY), 2005.

Evaluating Juveniles' Adjudicative Competence: A Guide for Clinical Practice, Professional Resources Exchange (Sarasota, FL), 2005.

Clinical Evaluations for Juveniles' Competence to Stand Trial: A Guide for Legal Professionals, Professional Resources Exchange (Sarasota, FL), 2005.

Also author of psychological assessment tools. Contributor to journals, including Journal of Abnormal Psychology, Journal of Community Psychology,Journal of Personality Assessment, and Law and Human Behavior. Member of editorial board, Law and Human Behavior, Behaviorial Sciences and the Law, Criminal Justice and Behavior, Ethics and Behavior, and Assessment.

SIDELIGHTS:

Thomas Grisso is the director of the Mental Health and Law Core at the Center for Mental Health Services Research of the University of Massachusetts. He is also the author of a number of books on clinical forensic assessment in criminal and juvenile cases, developmental issues in juvenile law, mental health needs of youths in the juvenile justice system, and risk of violence in adults and youths with mental disorders.

Grisso's Evaluating Competencies: Forensic Assessments and Instruments was first published in 1986. In 2003, a second edition was published. The book focuses on "the need for a conceptual model to guide the development and implementation of methods for assessing legal competencies," as Grisso notes in the text. "The first edition of this book was a classic, widely cited both for its analysis of forensic assessment instruments and for Grisso's integrative theory of forensic evaluation," Philip H. Witt stated in Psychiatric Services. "With the second edition, Evaluating Competencies remains a classic. I expect that whenever a forensic psychologist or psychiatrist prepares for an advanced examination in this specialty, this book will—or should—be one of the first books reviewed."

With Paul S. Appelbaum, Grisso wrote the 1998 book Assessing Competence to Consent to Treatment: A Guide for Physicians and Other Health Care Professionals. It is a complete study of how to assess the competence of patients to consent to medical treatment, drawing on both the legal and mental health fields. "In daily practice," wrote a critic for the New England Journal of Medicine, "it is physicians who frequently determine whether patients lack decision-making capacity. Assessing Competence to Consent to Treatment is a concise, lucid, wise, and practical book on how to do so." Robert Sadoff in Psychiatric Services concluded: "Once in a great while comes a book that is of major significance in a professional field. This relatively small book is one of those seminal works. The authors, both nationally known figures in the field of law and mental health, present a very practical guide, written in a clear, concise, and useful manner, to assessing patients' competency to consent to treatment."

In his study Forensic Evaluation of Juveniles, Grisso offers guidance for those mental health professionals who must decide whether a juvenile is competent to stand trial, is prone to future violence, or is competent to waive his Miranda rights. Based on current legal requirements, the guide provides processes to make such evaluations accurately. "Grisso sets forth professional guidelines for ethical practice for mental health professionals who provide forensic services," wrote Thomas F. Geraghty and Steven A. Drizin in the Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology. "Forensic Evaluation of Juveniles," according to Richard Barnum in Psychiatric Services, "is a pleasure to read. Clinicians who follow its advice will provide high-quality consultation, and the book should set standards that will significantly improve consultative practice with the courts and youth corrections agencies."

Edited with Robert G. Schwartz, Grisso's Youth on Trial: A Developmental Perspective on Juvenile Justice looks at the history of juvenile courts in the United States. The book particularly notes a change in juvenile justice: youth criminal offenders who were once dealt with by delinquency hearings are more prone today to being charged as adults in criminal court. This change is addressed in the essays presented in Youth on Trial. "We hope that the work that has begun here," Grisso and Schwartz explained in their book, "will eventually lead to a juvenile justice system that better serves the ultimate interests of society in its efforts to forge a rational and effective response to the needs, challenges, and promise of its youth."

Rethinking Risk Assessment: The MacArthur Study of Mental Disorder and Violence, which Grisso wrote with several other professionals, examines the findings of the MacArthur Violence Risk Assessment Study. This follow-up study of some 1,000 psychiatric patients over a one-year period included patient interviews every ten weeks, backed with the use of official records and informants, to determine the risk of violence in the released patient community. Anthony Maden, writing in the Psychiatric Bulletin, found that "the strength of this work is illustrated by the dilemma it poses for other researchers: what remains to be done in this field? Precious little, in elucidating the factors that distinguish violent patients from non-violent ones. There were few surprises here, and future surveys will recycle the main variables of personality, previous violence, substance misuse and cultural influences, until we all fall asleep. The unanswered questions are about intervention. How do we apply these findings in clinical practice?" "This book is a clarion call for a new method of assessing an individual's risk of violence toward others in a community setting," Theodore Lawlor wrote in Psychiatric Services. "It presents findings from the MacArthur Violence Risk Assessment Study, a project conducted by some of the nation's leading forensic clinicians and researchers. Ten years in the making, Rethinking Risk Assessment turns previous risk assessment methods on their heads. Despite the fact that we have known for many years that statistical methods of risk assessment are superior to clinical methods, the old ways die hard."

In Double Jeopardy: Adolescent Offenders with Mental Disorders, Grisso examines how the legal system must deal with those juvenile offenders with mental disorders. He covers how such problems can be discovered and evaluated, as well as steps that can be taken to reduce the risk of such conditions leading to juvenile criminal violence. "This volume," Grisso explains in the book, "explores the basis for our obligations to identify and respond to adolescent offenders' mental disorders, examines the state of our knowledge about youths' mental disorders and their consequences, and charts a rational course for the juvenile justice system's response to the mental health needs of those who are in its custody." Grisso "masterfully integrates a prodigious array of material from a virtual encyclopedic command of the substantive issues, knowledge, and facts," according to James W. Callicutt in the Journal of Sociology and Social Welfare.

Along with Gina Vincent and Daniel Seagrave, Grisso edited the 2005 title Mental Health Screening and Assessment in Juvenile Justice. The editors "start with the premise that every year an increasing number of children with associated mental health disorders enter the juvenile justice system," as Scott Migdole explained in the Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law. The book is divided into six sections: Preparing for Screening and Assessment, Multidimensional Brief Screening Tools, Unidimensional Screening Tools, Comprehensive Assessment Instruments, Risk for Violence, and Recidivism and Forensic Assessment Tools. "This is an excellent book," Migdole concluded, "and one that provides an outstanding overview for mental health professionals, judges, lawyers, and others involved with youth and the juvenile justice system. The organization of the book allows the reader to translate complicated material into practical terms."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Adolescence, summer, 2000, review of Forensic Evaluation of Juveniles, p. 421; fall, 2001, review of Forensic Evaluation of Juveniles, p. 622.

Annals of Internal Medicine, October, 1998, Douglas E. Tucker, review of Assessing Competence to Consent to Treatment: A Guide for Physicians and Other Health Care Professionals, pp. 595-596.

Crime & Delinquency, Volume 28, number 4, 1982, H. Ted Rubin, review of Juveniles' Waiver of Rights: Legal and Psychological Competence, pp. 627-630.

Criminal Justice and Behavior, March, 1999, William E. Reay, review of Forensic Evaluation of Juveniles, p. 141.

Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, July, 2005, Sue Bailey, review of Youth on Trial: A Developmental Perspective on Juvenile Justice, p. 804.

Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, summer, 1988, William Michalek, review of Evaluating Competencies: Forensic Assessments and Instruments, pp. 543-546; fall, 1999, Thomas F. Geraghty and Steven A. Drizin, review of Forensic Evaluation of Juveniles, p. 363; spring, 2005, Bard R. Ferrall, review of Double Jeopardy: Adolescent Offenders with Mental Disorders, p. 1147.

Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, September, 1999, Jonas R. Rappeport, review of Assessing Competence to Consent to Treatment, p. 187.

Journal of Personality Assessment, September, 1987, Robert W. Goldberg, review of Evaluating Competencies, pp. 480-482.

Journal of Sociology and Social Welfare, March, 2006, James W. Callicutt, review of Double Jeopardy, p. 260.

Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, October, 1997, Hans Steiner, Understanding Aggressive Behavior in Children, p. 1475; April, 2005, Robert Vermeiren, review of Double Jeopardy, p. 401.

Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law, Volume 34, issue 2, 2006, Scott Migdole, review of Mental Health Screening and Assessment in Juvenile Justice, pp. 260-262.

Law and Social Inquiry, fall, 2004, review of Double Jeopardy, p. 919.

New England Journal of Medicine, December 10, 1998, review of Assessing Competence to Consent to Treatment.

Psychiatric Bulletin, Volume 27, 2003, Anthony Maden, review of Rethinking Risk Assessment: The MacArthur Study of Mental Disorder and Violence, pp. 237-238.

Psychiatric Services, March, 1999, Robert Sadoff, review of Assessing Competence to Consent to Treatment, pp. 425-426, and Richard Barnum, review of Forensic Evaluation of Juveniles, p. 427; November, 2002, Theodore Lawlor, review of Rethinking Risk Assessment, pp. 1484-1485; June, 2003, Philip H. Witt, review of Evaluating Competencies, pp. 912-913.

Reference & Research Book News, November, 2005, review of Handbook of Mental Health Screening and Assessment in Juvenile Justice.

Social and Legal Studies, Volume 17, number 1, 2008, Antje Du Bois-Pedain, review of Double Jeopardy, pp. 148-151.

ONLINE

Center for Mental Health Services Research Web site,http://www.umassmed.edu/cmhsr/ (May 22, 2008), brief biography of Grisso.