The Canadian Psychological Association (CPA) is the national association for the science, practice and education of psychology in Canada. The assessment of fitness to stand trial and the assessment of criminal responsibility are key activities necessary to the administration of justice at the interface of mental health and the law. Canadian psychologists have the expertise and scope of practice in the areas of forensic and correctional psychology required to perform these assessments. Given this expertise, the fact that physicians who undertake this work routinely rely on assessments done by psychologists, and the fact that in Canada psychologists outnumber psychiatrists 4:1, designating appropriately qualified psychologists to undertake this work independently will serve the public good. The CPA is advocating for psychologists to be designated under the Criminal Code of Canada (CCC) to perform assessments of fitness to stand trial and criminal responsibility.
Fitness to Stand Trial and Criminal Responsibility Assessments in Canada: Improving Access to Qualified Mental Health Professionals – Canadian Psychological Association – 2017-12