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Forensic Developmental Concepts 

Forensic Developmental Concepts
Forensic Developmental Concepts

Antoinette Kavanaugh

and Thomas Grisso

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date: 25 January 2021

Chapter 2 identifies and describes developmental and clinical psychological concepts that may be useful in forensic Miller evaluations when addressing Miller’s standards for immaturity. Concepts related to the decisional immaturity factor include two models of psychosocial immaturity and the “maturity gap” concept. The dependency immaturity factor is examined through the lens of trauma concepts and individual differences in dependency. The offense context factor offers conceptual ways of thinking about the impact of immaturity on the offense drawn from reasoning in other types of forensic evaluations. The prospects for rehabilitation factor is examined with concepts related to amenability to rehabilitation and the appropriateness of interventions. Concepts relevant for Miller’s “irreparable corruption” include life-course-persistent and adolescence-limited offending patterns, psychopathy, sophistication and maturity, and the Risk-Needs-Responsivity model. A model is provided for the forensic process of analyzing irreparable corruption. Finally, several concepts from general developmental psychology are reviewed for their relevance to Miller cases.

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