Report Writing and Testimony

Ethical considerations in report writing and testifying as a forensic psychology professional

Explain what information you might include/exclude in your report or testimony and the reasoning behind why you chose to include/exclude particular information

            A forensic report should include identification of the exact charge and reason for referral. The information is written at the beginning of a report to assist legal consumer in knowing that evaluators issues scrutinized and their nature (Conroy, 2006). It avoids confusion when defendants have many charges pending but there is selective prosecution. Charges are not dropped, altered, or reduced. Forensic evaluator is supposed to address specific charges concerned with the trier of fact. Moreover, clarity is important to psycholegal opinion searched for.

Forensic evaluator requires documenting confidentiality warning regarding information from person under evaluation. The evaluator should disclose to the assessed person the limits required for his confidentiality, procedures involved, uses of the information and the person who will have access to the information (Conroy, 2006). The final report should specify collateral information including documents relied upon by the professional, arrest reports, criminal history records, mental health records, and victim impact statements. Documentation of interviews through the phone or in person and dates conducted.

A list of clinical interviews with the defendant, actuarial devices, psychological tests and structured interviews and their dates are important. There should be documentations on evidences and reasoning built from them. Evaluators require giving systematic processes of how they arrived at specific clinical findings. Forensic evaluators are expected to gather enough evidence that would give assistance to the trier of fact through examining the evidence, testing various hypotheses, and arriving at unbiased conclusion. Moreover, there should be explanations of uncovered evidences that may contradict conclusions found (Conroy, 2006).

However, forensic reports should not omit professional jargon, details that are not important to the issues at hand, biased language, more prejudicial than probative issues, and most central points than one decided upon by the trier of fact.

Ethical dilemmas from case study

The main dilemma in the case is that the defendant is diagnosed to be insane, has a mental disease and suffering from paranoid schizophrenia but he is said to understand his wrong actions legally and morally. An insane person is not expected to understand his actions and admit to be fooling the doctors over his inability to fool the doctors. His sexual acts might be intentional if he can make clear conversations with his colleagues over the phone.

Explain which ethical code and guidelines you might you be violating or might be in question given the information that you included in the report or testimony. Be sure to cite specific codes and guidelines.

Ethical guidelines

Ethical guidelines address professionalism and point the importance of demonstrating good judgment, self-respect, diligence, competence, and respect towards other people. Second, it stresses responsibility to clients, founders, and employers. It discusses the responsibility of practitioners in ensuring the suitability of statistical work to the resources and needs of payers. Funders are made to understand the limitations of statistics used to address their problem and protection of confidential information of the funders. Ethical guidelines adhere to responsibilities of testimonies and publications and the need to report sufficient information to readers and practitioners to understand the nature of the work and the performers.

There are outlined responsibility for research objects in protecting interests of animals and human beings during data collection, analysis, interpretation, and publication of findings (American statistical Association, 2016). Professionals have various responsibilities while participating in their researches. Ethical guidelines points out the responsibility of addressing processes of investigating ethical violations and treating the victims with respect and justice. The guidelines include responsibility of employers in their organizations and the importance of understanding the statistical validity. There should not be pressures towards practitioners to produce results and social harm should be avoided.

Federal regulations codes on human subjects are contained in Title 45 chapter 46(45 CFR 46),U.S code chapter 5-Census,subchapter 11 title 13-population,unemployment and housing, section 141,restricts the use of U.S population census information.

Explain the implications/consequences of the information that you divulge in your report or testimony.

Failure to disclose personal documents and statements of witnesses is a violation of Tribunal rule 16 regarding exchange of documents and rule 17 about witness statements results in dismissal of the case without its hearing and canceling the hearing dates.

Share an insight(s) or draw a conclusion(s) about report writing and testimony in Forensic Psychology setting

Psychologists must strive to maintain high competence in their work, recognize various boundaries and limitations in their expertise. They should provide services and techniques gained from their education and qualified trainings as well as experience. Psychologists should promote integrity in their teaching and practice. They are to demonstrate fairness, respect, and honesty to others. They should be aware of their belief, needs, values, and limitations in their work.         Psychologists must demonstrate clarity in their profession, conduct, obligations, and roles and use their methods to solve the needs of different populations. They are concerned about ethical compliance of their colleagues (Treatment Improvement protocol , 2000). They strive to respect the rights and dignity of other people. They aim at maintaining confidentiality, autonomy, self-determination to avoid conflicts. They demonstrate awareness of sexual orientation, nationality, gender, and race of others to avoid bias. Moreover, they are concerned about the welfare of other people and other professionals. They solve conflicts among these people in ways that avoid more harm. They avoid mistreating people after professional relationships.


American psychological association. (2016). Ethical principles of psychologists and code of conduct.APA. Retrieved from

American statistical Association. (2016). Ethical guidelines for statistical practice. Retrieved from

Conroy, M. (2006). Writing the forensic report. Report writing and testimony, 1-24.

Treatment Improvement protocol (TIP) .(2000). Series, No. 36.Center for substance abuse treatment. U.S.