Data_Sheet_1_Criminal Responsibility Scale: Development and Validation of a Psychometric Tool Structured in Clinical Vignettes for Criminal Responsibility Assessments in Brazil.PDF
Criminal responsibility assessment is undertaken by psychologists or psychiatrists to assess offenders' legal capacities, which vary among countries or regional legislations. There are two psychometric tools (i.e., checklists) validated for criminal responsibility assessment: the Roger Criminal Responsibility Scale, and the rating scale of criminal responsibility for mentally disordered offenders. Despite the existence of psychometric tools structured in clinical vignettes for evaluating legal capacities, none serve the purpose of assessing criminal responsibility. This study aims to validate a novel psychometric tool structured in vignettes for the assessment of criminal responsibility called the “Criminal Responsibility Scale.” We applied the tool to 88 defendants referred for criminal responsibility assessment in a forensic medical institute in the city of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, from December 2017 to December 2018. The validity of the Criminal Responsibility Scale and subscales were evaluated using confirmatory factor analysis. The two-factor solution proved satisfactory and met the needs for practical application of the tool (Kaiser–Meyer–Oklin = 0.82; p < 0.001). Moreover, the inter-rater reliability was evaluated by comparing the tool's final score with that of the expert's conclusion in each case and was found to be satisfactory (k = 0.667–1.0), with a resulting cutoff point of 30.50 (±2) and a Youden index of 0.509. Hence, the Criminal Responsibility Scale is an effective psychometric tool for assessments of criminal responsibility that may encourage future research in assessments of legal capacity with clinical vignette-based psychometric instruments.
Read the peer-reviewed publication