Author Archives: Marvin W. Acklin, Ph.D.

My name is Marvin Acklin. I am a board-certified clinical and forensic psychologist practicing in Honolulu. I am very interested in psychology interfacing with the legal system. As I am a forensic generalist, I am involved daily in a wide range of cases. These include criminal (insanity and fitness to stand trial) and civil law (personal injury), child custody, personnel selection/fitness for duty, legal capacity assessments, and forensic risk assessment. We do violence risk assessments for the courts and private attorneys. I am a trained child forensic interviewer in cases of suspected child sexual abuse. I have diverse interests in medicine, law, history, theology, and clinical, assessment, social, and forensic psychology.
Please visit my website: http://dracklin.com

My practice partner, Dr. Melissa Villalon, and I perform psychosexual risk assessments in both the private sector and for the Hawaii Sex Offender Treatment Program.
Please visit our website: http://www.pacificforensicassociates.com/

Assessing the reliability of child sex abuse allegations: Protocol for the attorney and forensic practitioner

Child sex abuse allegations commonly arise in criminal prosecutions, child protection matters, and divorce/custody disputes. These allegations are high stakes situations for both children and the accused. This outline provides a framework for assessing the reliability of allegations. It is based on a large evidence based review of the literature. Context—what is the family/relationship context […]

Hawaii – Pacific Assessment Clinic, Honolulu, Hawaii

Marvin W. Acklin, PhD PC is the site of the Hawaii – Pacific Assessment Clinic. The clinic is directed by Dr. Acklin with his staff of trained psychological assistants. The clinic provides a broad range of assessment consultation for children, adolescents, and adults, for clinical, administrative, and forensic purposes. Dr. Acklin is board-certified in clinical, […]

Alexithymia and Violence: Understanding Rage Murder

This a presentation at the Society for Personality Assessment in Washington DC in March 2018 on the clinical and forensic assessment of alexithymia. The attached paper examines alexithymia and rage-type murder, typically extreme violence that occurs in intimate relationships. The paper discusses rage type murder as a type of affective or impulsive violence as opposed […]

Forensic Psychology at Society for Personality Assessment

Forensic Interest Group Newsletter: May 19, 2018 Marvin W. Acklin, PhD, ABAP, ABPP Why is forensic psychological assessment important to SPA? Or why is SPA important to forensic psychological assessment? There have been substantial changes in the landscape of personality assessment in the past 30 years. Aside from the general decline of assessment services through […]

Development of a Threat Assessment Team — In progress.

The latest tragic school shooting in South Florida, especially in light of the revelation that that the shooter was reported to the FBI in the previous month, increases the necessity of working local threat assessment teams combining qualified mental health and law enforcement. The attached is a presentation made to Threat Team Oahu on February […]

End of the World: Nuclear Hysteria in Hawaii

On Saturday morning 01/13/2018, around 8:00 AM, the population of Hawaii was informed throuthe statewide emergency alert system of an incoming ballistic missile warning. The warning added, “This is not a drill.” It took authorities 38 minutes to issue a false alarm alert. Regardless of how this SNAFU happened, this singular event provides a natural […]

Proper and Improper Uses of Therapists in Child Custody and Access Disputes

The Family Court and attorneys regularly assign community therapists to provide information concerning a child’s visitation. Apparently judges and attorneys think that is what therapists are there for. These assignments usually involve reimbursement by a third party payor (i.e., health insurance). This practice blurs the lines between clinical and forensic roles, often involves therapists who […]

Cognitive Impact of Sleep Problems

Poor sleep is pervasive in Americans. Sleep problems are commonly encountered in psychotherapy patients. A recent meta-analysis examined the cognitive impact of sleep apnea, a common problem in adult men and women. Most people do not sleep enough, many patients practice poor sleep hygiene, with adverse effects in their daily functioning, mood, and morale. Sleep […]

Shoddy Reliability of Forensic Evidence II: Systematic bias and judgment errors in forensic mental health evaluations

A new study hot off the press addresses “typical judgment errors” in forensic mental health reports (Iudici, Salvini, Faccio, & Castelnuovo (2015).The Clinical Assessment in the Legal Field: An Empirical Study of Bias and Limitations in Forensic Expertise, Frontiers in Psychology, 6, 1831. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2015.01831). Content analyses of forensic mental health evaluations revealed distortions in […]

Shoddy Reliability of Forensic Evidence I: Bite-mark forensics

Today’s NY Times (“Lives in Balance, Texas Leads Scrutiny of Bite-Mark forensics”; 12/13/2015) reports on the recent exoneration of a man imprisoned for 28 years, based on shoddy forensic bite-mark evidence. The ongoing crisis in forensic evidence and expert testimony–reflected in admissions that crime labs (including the FBI) use sloppy methods and unreliable science continues […]