After the Insanity Defense: When the Acquitted Return to the by Matthew F. Shaw

By Matthew F. Shaw

Publication by way of Shaw, Matthew F.

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Additional info for After the Insanity Defense: When the Acquitted Return to the Community (Criminal Justice: Recent Scholarship)

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A variety of outpatient treatments, structured living assignments, and psychotropic medications can be mandated as part of the conditional release. These legislative reforms altered the treatment pathways along which NGRI acquittees move and thereby distinguished three groups of acquittees (see Table 2). Subjects followed from 1965 to 1971 were channeled through the correctional hospital system and could only be unconditionally released into the community (Group1). Subjects followed from 1971 to 1980 were channeled through the civil psychiatric hospital system and could only be unconditionally released into the community (Group 2).

By obtaining such information, treatment pathways can be tailored to differing propensities. For example, if mentally ill offenders are consistently more recidivistic than NGRI acquittees, these offenders can immediately be referred to a service delivery pathway with more restrictions and more frequent monitoring. 63 Each of these studies demonstrated that NGRI acquittees had recidivism rates statistically comparable to each of these groups with the following exceptions. Silver and colleagues found that the mentally ill offenders were more recidivistic than the NGRI group.

S. 71 (1992)). Therefore, the locus of responsibility often shifts from the criminal justice to the mental health system once the case has been adjudicated. There is research that demonstrates that the transferring of responsibility between the systems may not be happening as efficiently as it should. 105 It is possible that more severe index offenses are associated with more severe mental illness and therefore should be correlated with longer periods of detention, or more severe index offenses are associated with a greater need to protect the public and increasing estimates of dangerousness.

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