For legal aid reasons a psychologist/psychiatrist can only be instructed by the parole board or by a legal representative in order to challenge a viewpoint of a witness or to undertake a risk assessment.

Our team regularly instruct experts to undertake assessments of clients for a number of reasons. Examples include;

Psychologist instructed for a category A client with a parole hearing who has been said to have made no progress and require detention on the Dangerous Severe Personality Disorder Unit. The psychologist undertake relevant asssessments which concluded the client did not need the DSPD. The psychologist also addressed the fact the client heard voices. In light of this, a psychiatrist was instructed to consider whether the client required  treatment in hospital rather than detention in prison.

Psychologist instructed for a category A client with a parole hearing said to need placement on the Dangerous and Severe Personality Disorder Unit having made no progress in 10 years. Psychologist undertook assessments which demonstrated the prison were wrong and identified a clear way in which the client could progress.

Psychologist instructed for a client in category C conditions, excluded from open conditions. The psychologist undertook a full risk assessment and recommended release. They were the only witness recommending release. Others suggested further offending behaviour courses.

Psychologist instructed for a client in category C conditons serving for a historic offence. He had been in the community for 20 odd years before he was arrested. His probation officer opposed release on the basis he presented a high risk of serious harm and that risk was imminent. It was argued that living in the community for 20 years without commiting an offence did not provide sufficient evidence of imminence. Psychologist recommended client’s release.

Should the prisoner feel that he has unaddressed mental health issues or is in need of treatment in a hospital then our legal representatives will instruct an independent psychiatrist  in order lay down expert evidence in respect of the prisoners assertions.

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