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Evaluating Mental Illness
Dean of University of the Rockies’ School of Professional Psychology explores the validity of using standardized mental health assessment tools to evaluate mental illness in inmates

The national conference of the National Commission on Correctional Healthcare, held Oct. 20-24, 2012 in Las Vegas, featured a presentation by Dr. David Stephens, dean of the School of Professional Psychology. Along with Dr. Elizabeth Hogan, formerly of the Colorado Department of Corrections, Stephens presented “Validity of Using Standardized Mental Health Assessment Tools in Corrections.”

The presentation questioned the validity of using standardized mental health assessment tools – many of which were originally developed for use with non-incarcerated populations – to evaluate mental illness in inmates. He identified specific tools that were developed for incarcerated populations and for the general populations, and discussed the impact and limitations of using these assessments in inmates.

Stephens joined University of the Rockies as dean of its School of Professional Psychology in 2011. Previously, he served as the regional director of mental health for Correctional Healthcare Management. He also served as the chief of Behavioral Health Services for the Colorado Department of Corrections.  


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