Mr. Browns Mental Status - Case Study

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Harvey Mudd College
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Mr. Brown reported that he was born in Brooklyn and was raised by his mother. He was put under foster care after his mother died when he was seven years old. He would later undergo physical abuse and neglect in the hands of his foster parents. He reported having difficulties in reading and writing which he attributed to the lead poisoning he was subjected to while growing up. He attended special education class and is currently in his 12thgrade. Mr. Brown stated that he would have graduated and received an IEP diploma "if it was not for his recent arrests." Before his arrest, he was living with his sister, her boyfriend, and niece. Mr. Brown also recalls that his foster mother received a disability cheque for lead poisoning meant for him. The Psychological test report by Dr. Paradis dated October 13, 2016, revealed that Mr. Browns Full-Scale I.Q. was 55, which is usually seen in 2.3% of test takers and falls within the range of intellectual disability.

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Mr. Brown reported that he had his first psychiatric hospitalization at age seven at the Coney Island Hospital after being diagnosed with "Bipolar ADHD and has been hospitalized twenty times since then. He recalls having poor frustration tolerance especially when being asked to do something that they know I cannot do, like read or write something. He said he had self-inflicting behavior in response to the beatings and abuse he underwent while under the care of his foster parents but denied any suicidal thoughts. He stated that lead poisoning messed him up and that he used to receive a red pill at Rikers to help keep him calm. Mr. Brown reported drinking alcohol and smoking 4-5 joints of marijuana daily as well as experimenting with K2, Percocet, Xanax, and ecstasy pills.

With regards to legal history, Mr. Brown reported having a Youthful adjudication for a year, and a misdemeanor conviction.

Mental Status

Mr. Brown is an averagely built 21-year-old African-American male who appeared his age. He was in jail khakis and was wearing a koofi(a rounded skull cup used for religious purpose). He was cooperative, maintained a good eye contact and was well related. His speech was hesitant; he would always ask the question again when asked before responding. His mood was anxious, and his affect (outward expression of mood) appeared frustrated at times when he struggled to understand the question asked and responded adequately. Mr. Browns thought process was linear, logical, relevant and goal-directed. He denied any current suicidal ideation intent or plans and elicited no delusions. He also denied any auditory or visual hallucinations and did not appear internally preoccupied. His insight, judgment and impulse control were grossly intact. When subjected to reasoning tests, he was able to abstract simple concepts like a lion, and a dog, are animals but had difficulty abstracting complex concepts like the similarity between a train and a bike. He was time, place, person and situation oriented and his attention, concentration, and memory were grossly intact.

Defendant understanding of charges and court-related process

Mr. Brown was aware of the charges against him. He said; rape; statutory; they are saying that you (sic) rape somebody." He was able to narrate his version of the event in the instant offense. He displayed a rudimentary understanding of the role of the key court personnel and court procedures. Mr. Brown was able to appreciate the seriousness of the charges leveled against him, and in regards to the outcome of the case, he said: "they gave me plea bargain; ten years. I could blow trial 25 to life." He was engaged, posed questions to his attorney especially in situations where he was unable to comprehend, displaying the ability to work with his lawyer.

Defendants Functioning per Valentino Criteria

Judge: In charge of the courtroom, he will tell the punishment.

DA: Tries to make you look like a bad person.

Defense Attorney: Try to get me home to my family. Get me a better offer.

The defendant is fully oriented to time, place and person and in sufficient contact with reality.

The defendant can accurately perceive, recall and relate.

The defendant can, if he wishes, establish a working relationship with his attorney.

The defendant has an understanding of the process of trial and the roles of a defense attorney, the judge, and prosecutor.

The defendant possesses sufficient intelligence and judgment to listen to the advice of the counsel and, based on that information, appreciate (without necessarily choosing to adopt it) that one course of conduct may be more beneficial to him than another with accommodation of simplifying complex concepts into simple concrete ideas.

In my opinion, based on a reasonable degree of medical certainty, Mr. Brown currently seems to be psychiatrically stable though he has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. That means that his symptoms are currently in remission. Psychological testing (Dr. Paradis, 10/13/2016) indicates that Mr. Brown has Intellectual Disability. Lack of appreciation may arise from the defendant's inability to translate the information in his current situation. If he chooses to go to trial, the inclination and ability of his attorney to recognize and to compensate for his limitations will be of vital importance. Since he makes an effort and asks questions, repetition and clarification will be another useful tool. Nonetheless, Mr. Brown expresses his intent to talk to his mother before making a decision implying that his mother can play an active role in facilitating communication.

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