Jeffrey E. Musick, PhD, ABPP and Randy K. Otto, PhD, ABPP;
Professional Manual by Randy K. Otto, PhD, ABPP, Jeffrey E. Musick, PhD, ABPP, and Christina B. Sherrod, PhD
The ILK is designed to assist the forensic examiner in assessing response styles of defendants undergoing evaluation of adjudicative competence. Written in simple language, the ILK contains 61 true-or-false items about the legal process. Orally administered by an examiner in about 15 minutes (making the instrument suitable for illiterate defendants), the ILK may be used anywhere-including jails and other secure facilities-and scored quickly.
To detect feigned deficits in legal knowledge, the ILK utilises two strategies. The first identifies defendants as feigning based on scores that are significantly lower than scores expected by chance. The second identifies defendants as feigning based on scores that are significantly lower than those attained by relevant normative groups. The ILK's detection strategies are to be utilised sequentially. That is, the examiner first determines whether the examinee's score on the ILK is significantly below chance. If it is, then the second strategy need not be utilised because a significantly below chance score results in an essentially unequivocal interpretation. However, if the examinee's ILK score is not significantly below chance, then the examiner compares the obtained score to scores that have been derived from relevant comparison groups.
The ILK's honest-responding normative groups include adults acquitted by reason of insanity, adults hospitalised due to major mental illness, community dwelling adults and adolescents not referred for competency evaluations, adult and adolescent defendants assessed to be competent to proceed, and adult and adolescent defendants adjudicated or assessed to be incompetent to proceed. Reference data on adult defendants suspected of malingering as well as on adults instructed to feign competence-related limitations are also included; this set of normative groups includes college students, adults hospitalised due to major mental illness, and adults found to be not guilty by reason of insanity. The ILK is not a test of adjudicative competence. It is solely a measure of response style; more specifically, it is a measure of a defendant's approach to inquiries about his or her legal knowledge.
- Item content covers charges, pleas, sanctions, defendants' rights, and courtroom procedures, as well as the roles of the judge, prosecutor, defense attorney and witnesses.
- The Item Booklet is separate from the Response Sheet, meaning that test items will not be compromised if a court orders the release of test data.
- The ILK produces one score-the ILK Total Score-that corresponds to the number of correct responses.
- One-tailed binomial p values are used to determine whether the ILK Total Score is significantly below chance.
- Cumulative percentiles are used to compare the ILK Total Score obtained by the examinee to those obtained by community, clinical and forensic reference samples.
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