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(p. 287) Conceptualizing Forensic Animal Maltreatment Evaluations 

(p. 287) Conceptualizing Forensic Animal Maltreatment Evaluations
(p. 287) Conceptualizing Forensic Animal Maltreatment Evaluations

Lacey Levitt

and Thomas Grisso

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date: 13 April 2021

The statutes of many states permit or mandate that judges order mental health evaluations of persons convicted of harming animals. This chapter identifies and explores forensic animal maltreatment evaluations (FAMEs) for the courts as a potential field of forensic assessment. It begins by examining the legal questions that FAMEs are expected to address. In the absence of clear statutory guidance, the authors suggest possible ways to frame the relevant questions for various types of cases. The chapter explores concepts that could be useful in translating the information the court seeks into things that are observable and assessable. In that analysis, the chapter draws elements of other types of forensic assessment such as child custody and child neglect, exploring their potential to assist in the development of FAMEs. Finally, the development of the types of assessment methods needed to build a portfolio of specialized tools are explored.

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