Forensic Psychology

 

Forensic Psychology

Dr. Roer is an experienced forensic psychologist who has worked on over 450 criminal and civil cases in the state of California. He graduated magna cum laude from both his master’s program and doctorate and has earned a certificate in Alcoholism and Chemical Dependency to better serve those suffering from substance abuse. Dr. Roer wrote his dissertation on Treatment Protocols for the Psychopathic Population. In July of 2020, he will beginning training to earn a CASOMB certificate to treat sex offenders.

Dr. Roer has evaluated patients with virtually all major mental health disorders in the DSM-V during his forensic casework including, schizophrenia spectrum and other psychotic disorders, bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder, antisocial personality disorder, intellectual disability disorder, dissociative identity disorder, PTSD, ADHD, substance use disorders, as well as sex offenders.

Dr. Roer takes into account all collateral information from discovery including medical records, police reports, witness accounts, previous psychological evaluations, and letters in the assessment process. He utilizes the latest revisions of psychodiagnostic testing to ensure empirical validation to the evaluation results. Dr. Roer delivers a comprehensive report at the conclusion of the evaluation process. 

Dr. Roer’s previous cases include:

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Evaluation of Competency to Stand Trial

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Evaluation of Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity

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Evaluation for Mental Health Diversion

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Psychological Mitigation of Criminal Charges

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Evaluation of Sexual Offenders

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Evaluation of Malingering

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Evaluation for Termination of Parental Rights

If you are interested in speaking with Dr. Roer regarding a case, please send a message. Dr. Roer will usually respond to messages within 24 hours.

Dr. Jason Roer

Dr. Jason Roer

Forensic and Clinical Psychologist

California Case Codes

PC1368/1369: Competency to Stand Trial

In a California competency hearing, the defendant is presumed to be competent to stand trial. Consequently, the burden of proof falls upon the defendant (and his/her counsel) to prove he/she is not competent, and this must be proven by a preponderance of evidence. A licensed psychiatrist or psychologist is appointed by the Court to establish the evidence. The psychiatrist/psychologist will conduct a psychological evaluation and write a report, after which the report will be delivered to the Court for review. For the defendant to be deemed incompetent to stand trial, he/she must satisfy one (or both) of two requirements:

1. Defendant does not have the capacity to assist his/her attorney in the preparation and presentation of his/her defense in a rational manner.

2. Defendant does not have the capacity to understand the nature and purpose of the criminal proceedings.

PC1026/1027: Insanity Defense (McNaghten rule)

A defendant has the right to plead Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity in which he/she claims to have been legally insane at the time of the commission of the offense for which he/she has been accused. Should the defendant successfully convince the Court that he/she was insane at the time he/she committed the alleged offense, he/she will be committed to a state mental hospital rather than being sentenced to prison. Defendant must prove he/she was legally insane at the time of the offense by a preponderance of the evidence. Defendant is considered legally insane if he/she satisfies one of two requirements:

1. Defendant did not have the capacity to understand the nature and purpose of his/her actions at the time of the commission of the offense.

2. Defendant did not have the capacity to distinguish the difference between right and wrong.

PC1001.36: Mental Health Diversion

PC 1001.36 states a defendant with certain mental health disorders can obtain treatment when charged with a crime rather than be sentenced to serve time in a county jail or prison. Should the defendant successfully complete treatment, the criminal charges are subsequently dismissed and the arrest record is sealed. The Court can only approve a treatment program if all of the following have been satisfied:

1. Defendant suffers from a mental illness as defined in the DSM-5 with exception to Antisocial Personality Disorder, Borderline Personality Disorder or Pedophilia.

2. Defendant’s mental health disorder was a significant factor in the commission of the offense for which he/she has been accused.

3. Defendant would respond favorably to a mental health treatment program as determined by a licensed mental health professional (ex: psychiatrist/psychologist).

4. Defendant consents to Mental Health Diversion and waives his/her right to a speedy trial.

5. Defendant agrees to comply with the treatment program as a condition of diversion.

6. The Court is satisfied that the defendant does not pose an unreasonable risk of danger to the public.

When a mental health professional is producing the report to be issued to the referral source (Court/Attorney), the following items are to be considered:

1. The clinical interview with the defendant.

2. Police reports.

3. Preliminary hearing transcripts.

4. Witness statements.

5. Statements by the defendant’s mental health treatment provider(s).

6. The defendant’s medical records.

PC288.1: Mental Health Evaluation for Sex Offenders

A mental health evaluation is conducted on individuals charged with lewd and lascivious acts on a child (under the age of 14 years) to determine whether the defendant is a suitable candidate for probation. Lewd and lascivious acts include: PC 261, rape; PC 288, lewd acts with a child; PC 288a, oral copulation by force or fear; PC 286, sodomy; and PC 243.3, sexual battery. The psychologist or psychiatrist conducting the evaluation examines the circumstances of the offense and the defendant’s history. The purpose of the evaluation is to determine whether the conduct is likely to recur, and whether the defendant remains a danger to children.

California Penal Code 288.1: Any person convicted of committing any lewd or lascivious act including any of the acts constituting other crimes for in Part I of this code upon or with the body or any part or member thereof, of a child under the age of 14 years shall not have his or her sentence suspended until the court obtains a report from a reputable psychiatrist, from a reputable psychologist who meets the standards set forth in Section 1027, as to the mental condition of that person.

People v. Thompson (1989) 214 Cal.App.3d 1547, 263 Cal.Rptr. 272: “It is clear from the language of section 288.1 that a report is not mandated in every lewd or lascivious act case. Only if the trial court is inclined to grant probation must a report be ordered. The obvious intent of the Legislature in enacting this statute was to protect society by requiring a psychiatric or psychological report insuring that defendant is a suitable candidate for probation. Where the court, as in this case, has no intention of granting probation, and the record supports such a denial of probation, a section 288.1 report is not mandated. In other words, if after reviewing all the facts, the pre-sentence report and the statements in mitigation and aggravation, the court does not feel that probation is proper, then there is no duty to request a section 288.1 report.”

Psychological Testing

PSYCHODIAGNOSTIC TESTING

In addition to a clinical interview of the patient, objective psychodiagnostic testing plays a critical role in the assessment process. Dr. Roer utilizes the latest revisions of all testing protocols to provide the highest efficacy and to ensure compliance with all current scientific standards. This provides empirical validation of the evaluation, as the results are not only predicated on the clinical assessment by the examiner, but in addition, evidence-based psychological testing modalities.

Testing Modalities

Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-2-RF (MMPI-2-RF)

The MMPI-2-RF is one of the most widely researched and used psychological assessment instruments. The testing modality conceptualizes personality and psychopathology as a hierarchical arrangement of relatively narrow, focused, dimensional constructs. By comprehensively measuring 50–60 clinically relevant characteristics to describe the individual, the MMPI-2-RF both reflects and contributes to a historic paradigm shift in terms of how personalities and psychopathologies are rendered: Rather than trying to fit patients into specific diagnostic categories or label them with disorders, the MMPI-2-RF describes the individual as clearly and coherently as possible, and is utilized to recommend empirically supported interventions based on the characteristics found.

The MMPI-2-RF normative sample is drawn from the MMPI-2 normative sample and consists of 2,276 men and women between the ages 18 and 80 from several regions and diverse communities in the U.S.

Million Clinical Multiaxial Inventory-IV (MCMI-IV)

The MCMI-IV is a thoroughly modernized instrument (replacing the MCMI-III), and is a true integration of theoretical and empirical methodologies, giving the clinician a clear indication of the level of personality functioning. Noteworthy responses have been significantly expanded in this new edition, offering both immediate notification of critical areas (e.g., violence potential, self-destructive potential) as well as for potential differential diagnostic needs for DSM constructs falling out of the MCMI-IV’s main measurement areas (e.g., ASD, ADHD). The result of this new instrument’s comprehensive approach is a highly personalized reflection of the individual completing the inventory, with significant directives for effective, targeted, and comprehensive treatment.

The MCMI-IV offers updated norms that are based on a clinical adult population of 1,547 males and females with a wide variety of diagnoses.

Millon Adolescent Clinical Inventory (MACI)

Designed specifically for teenagers, the Millon Adolescent Clinical Inventory helps identify early signs of Axis I and Axis II disorders in adolescents. This dedicated tool, recently enhanced by the addition of Grossman Facet Scales, helps assess personality patterns as well as self-reported concerns and clinical symptoms.

Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-IV (WAIS-IV)

The Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale Fourth Edition (WAIS-IV) is the most advanced adult measure of cognitive ability, based on recent research in the area of cognitive neuroscience and the theories and work of David Wechsler PhD. The WAIS-IV is intended for use with adults ages 16 to 90. The assessment measures cognitive ability using a core battery of 10 unique subtests that focus on four specific domains of intelligence: verbal comprehension, perceptual reasoning, working memory, and processing speed.

Testing of Memory Malingering (TOMM)

Based on research in neuropsychology and cognitive psychology, the Test of Memory Malingering is a 50-item visual recognition test designed to help distinguish malingering from genuine memory impairments. The TOMM is suitable for ages 16-84.

Rey 15-Item Memory Test

The Rey-15 is a visual recall task in which 15 items are presented in a 3×5 array. The stimuli are removed, and the participant is immediately asked to reproduce the stimuli. Poor performance is suggestive of malingering when less than nine items are correctly reproduced. The Rey-15 is a quick assessment tool to gain a beginning determinant of whether the patient is malingering, however, it should not be used as a singular tool, but rather in conjunction with additional protocols.

Revised Competency Assessment Instrument (R-CAI)

The R-CAI is one of the clinical assessment tools by which to determine if a defendant is competent to stand trial. 14 items are determined during the clinical interview to establish competency.

1. Understanding of the charge(s): Defendant possesses an understanding of the charges and seriousness of the alleged offense, as well as the understanding that he/she is being accused of a crime.

2. Appreciation of the penalties: Defendant possesses a concrete understanding of the potential conditions/restrictions/outcomes of being found guilty as well as their potential duration.

3. Appraisal of available defenses: Defendant demonstrates he/she understands the judicial system is an adversarial process and a defense must be put forth.

4. Appraisal of the functions of the courtroom participants: Defendant demonstrates he/she has a minimal awareness of the of the legal process and the various roles of the individuals (Judge, attorney, District Attorney, jury) who will participate in the criminal proceedings.

5. Understanding the court procedures: Defendant understands the basic sequence of the events in a criminal trial and their significance, including direct and cross examination.

6. Motivation to help self in the legal process: Defendant has the motivation to appropriately utilize legal safeguards to adequately protect himself/herself.

7. Appraisal of likely outcome: Defendant possesses a realistic perception of the likely outcome and the degree to which impaired understanding contributes to a less than adequate participation in defense planning.

8. Planning of legal strategies: Assesses the degree to which the defendant can understand, participate, and cooperate with counsel in planning a strategy for defense which is consistent with the reality of the circumstances. Additionally, the assessment includes the defendant’s willingness to agree to a plea bargain or enter an insanity plea when appropriate.

9. Ability to cooperate with counsel: Defendant has the capacity to relate to and communicate coherently with his/her attorney.

10. Capacity to disclose pertinent information to counsel: Defendant has the capacity to rationally assist his/her attorney by disclosing a consistent and relevant account of the events surrounding the charges for which he/she has been accused.

11. Capacity to testify: Defendant possesses the ability to testify with coherence, relevance, and independence of judgment as determined by his/her communication style during the clinical assessment. Defendant should be capable of testifying without becoming confused, perjuring themselves or making self-incriminating statements.

12. Capacity to challenge prosecution witnesses: Defendant possesses the ability to recognize distortions/untruths in the prosecution testimony. Defendant must display attention to detail and initiative to alert his/her counsel of any inaccuracies.

13. Ability to manifest appropriate courtroom behavior: Defendant possesses ability to conduct himself/herself in a manner that would not be disruptive to the courtroom proceedings.

14. Capacity to cope with incarceration awaiting trial: Defendant demonstrates emotional stability at the time of the clinical interview. To be considered during the evaluation are suicidal ideation, paranoid delusions regarding the legal system, and ability to adapt to a jail environment.

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