What is Competency?
Competency training is a systematic approach to educating defendants regarding the court system and legal process.
Dusky vs. US (1960) established that a person cannot stand trial if they do not understand:
(1) the nature of their alleged offense
(2) how to assist counsel in their defense.
Our roles as competency trainers are to educate, support and assess progress towards attaining competency.
Competency Training Process
Competency trainers educate defendants across various learning modalities using Association of Regional Center Agencies (ARCA) approved curriculum: Rhode Island State Hospital's Slater Method and The Florida State University CompKit.
Our competency team submits progress reports for each court date, usually every 90 days.
Once a defendant reaches maximum benefit from competency training (based on their performance on the Slater Modules), the defendant is referred to Aacres' consulting forensic psychologist, Dr. Soni Kim-Monroe, for a comprehensive competency evaluation.
The competency evaluation is the capstone assessment of our program which determines whether a defendant is competent to stand trial.
Defendants can expect to engage in competency training from six months to three years, depending on the nature of the case. However, most cases typically last between 1-2 years.