mitigation of penalty
A Mitigation of Penalty evaluation is typically conducted with mentally ill criminal defendants or probationers before sentencing. The purpose of the evaluation is to provide the judge with an assessment of mitigating circumstances for consideration in sentencing decisions. Dr. Tarescavage has published several peer-reviewed research articles on violence risk assessment and predicting future probation failure. These evaluations are further described in the Ohio Revised Code.
Prior to their Mitigation of Penalty evaluation with Dr. Tarescavage, the evaluee will complete a brief history questionnaire. They will also sign releases of information requesting medical records from treatment providers. If possible, evaluee’s should bring relevant medical records with them. Finally, the evaluee will prepare a short list of people who know them well, along with contact information. The in-person component of the evaluation lasts approximately 3.0 hours and begins with an overview of the purpose of the evaluation as well as a review of the limitations on confidentiality. After introductions, the evaluee typically completes one-hour of psychological testing. This testing generally includes the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-3 (MMPI-3), a widely-used and well-validated psychological test. This testing provides a comprehensive and objective foundation for a well-informed and impartial clinical interview. After testing is completed, Dr. Tarescavage conducts the clinical interview. The first part of the interview involves the collection of background information (family, educational, medical, employment, military, legal, and substance use). The second part of the interview is the diagnostic assessment. Dr. Tarescavage will assess the evaluee’s symptoms, the course of their problems, and impairment. Next, during the most comprehensive aspect of the assessment, Dr. Tarescavage conducts an evaluation of factors that led to the offense. Finally, Dr. Tarescavage gives the evaluee preliminary feedback on their assessment results. However, Dr. Tarescavage will never give feedback on his opinion regarding the evaluee’s potential for completing probation successfully. After the in-person evaluation is completed, Dr. Tarescavage will conduct a record review and collateral contact process and write a 6 to 8 page report detailing his findings and opinions. The referral source will receive the report within three business days of the evaluation (assuming additional records do not need to be requested). If the evaluee is interested in obtaining a copy of the evaluation, they will need to contact the referral source.
These evaluations are criminal forensic assessments, which include competency to stand trial, not guilty by reason of insanity, mitigation of penalty, violence risk assessment, and intervention in lieu of conviction evaluations.