Courtroom Modifications for Child Witnesses: Law and Science in Forensic Evaluations

Pages: 376
Item #: 4317156
ISBN: 978-1-4338-0354-3
List Price: $19.95
Member/Affiliate Price: $19.95
Copyright: 2008
Format: Hardcover
Availability: In Stock
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For individuals in the U.S. & U.S. territories


This book is aimed at mental health professionals who perform forensic evaluations of child witnesses in cases of alleged maltreatment, to determine whether to recommend courtroom modifications. Authors Susan R. Hall and Bruce D. Sales consider, from both legal and psychological standpoints, courtroom modifications such as allowing supportive adults in the witness box and allowing hearsay exemptions.

The legal implications of more controversial practices such as using screens to shield the witness from the defendant, and using remote or videotaped depositions or testimony are also discussed. Finally, the authors review current research on trauma, PTSD, fear, anxiety, and depression in children who have been allegedly abused, and examine the implications for child testimony.

The nuanced analysis in this book provides mental health and legal professionals with the expert guidance they need when making crucial forensic judgments.

Table of Contents


  1. Introduction: Need for Courtroom Modifications
  2. Courtroom Modifications That Do Not Raise Confrontation Clause Concerns
  3. Courtroom Modifications That Raise Confrontation Clause Concerns
  4. Science of Courtroom Modifications
  5. Analytical Approach to Courtroom Modification Evaluations
  6. Trauma, Emotional Distress, and Courtroom Modification Evaluations
  7. Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and Courtroom Modification Evaluations
  8. Dissociation and Courtroom Modification Evaluations
  9. Fear, Anxiety, Depression, and Courtroom Modification Evaluations
  10. Communication Abilities, Disorders, and Courtroom Modification Evaluations
  11. Conclusion and Future Directions


Table of Authorities

Author Index

Subject Index

About the Authors

Author Bios

Susan R. Hall, JD, PhD, is an assistant professor of psychology at the Graduate School of Education and Psychology at Pepperdine University in Malibu, California. She earned a law degree and a doctorate in clinical psychology as well as psychology, policy, and law at the University of Arizona in Tucson. During her postdoctoral fellowship in child clinical psychology at the Yale University School of Medicine Child Study Center in New Haven, Connecticut, she was a Bush fellow at the Yale Center for Child Development and Social Policy. Dr. Hall has published and presented nationally on topics related to psychology, public policy, and law, including the clinical and forensic needs of children and youth exposed to violence and maltreatment. Her scholarship, including the book Laws Affecting Clinical Practice (with B. Sales & M. O. Miller; American Psychological Association [APA], 2005), aims to help clinicians better understand the law. Dr. Hall serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Youth and Adolescence, and she was the section program chair (2005–2006) and cochair (2004–2005) for the Society for Child and Family Policy and Practice, Section on Child Maltreatment (APA Division 37).

Bruce D. Sales, JD, PhD, is professor of psychology, sociology, psychiatry, and law at the University of Arizona in Tucson, where he also directs the psychology, policy, and law program. His recent books include Sex Offending (with J. Stinson & J. Becker; American Psychological Association [APA], 2008); Scientific Jury Selection (with J. Lieberman; APA, 2007); Criminal Profiling (with S. J. Hicks; APA, 2006); Experts in Court (with D. Shuman; APA, 2005); More Than the Law (with P. W. English; APA, 2005); Family Mediation (with C. J. A. Beck; APA, 2001); and Treating Adult and Juvenile Offenders With Special Needs (coedited with J. B. Ashford & W. H. Reid; APA, 2001). Dr. Sales, the first editor of the journals Law and Human Behavior and Psychology, Public Policy, and Law, is a fellow of the APA and the Association for Psychological Science.

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