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NCJ Number: 134330 Find in a Library
Title: Specifying "Criminalization" of the Mentally Disordered Misdemeanant
Journal: Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology  Volume:82  Issue:2  Dated:(Summer 1991)  Pages:334-359
Author(s): E H Steury
Date Published: 1991
Page Count: 26
Type: Survey
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: An attempt is made to specify criminalization in practical terms using data pertaining to a sample of 1,068 defendants with a record of admission to the Milwaukee County Mental Health Complex and 1,116 nonpsychiatric defendants and associated criminal cases stemming from criminal misdemeanor charges filed between January 1, 1981 and December 30, 1985 in the Milwaukee (Wisconsin) Circuit Court.
Abstract: The data fail to provide any evidence of wholesale subversion of the criminal process to accomplish psychiatric treatment goals, even in the case of defendants evaluated and/or committed for incompetency. Only 24 percent of defendants with psychiatric records had any kind of psychiatric evaluation or treatment imposed on them. Of defendants evaluated for incompetency, only about half were found incompetent, and the vast majority of those initially evaluated as incompetent subsequently were determined to have regained competency. As a group, those with psychiatric records were criminally sanctioned more severely than defendants without psychiatric records, and defendants with relatively extensive psychiatric records were sanctioned even more severely. The empirically grounded specification of "criminalization" emerged as relatively greater punitiveness. 56 notes and 3 tables
Main Term(s): Mentally ill offenders; Misdemeanor
Index Term(s): Discrimination; Disorderly conduct; Psychological evaluation; Sentencing disparity
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