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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 134570 Find in a Library
Title: AIDS-Related Dementia and Competency to Stand Trial: A Potential Abuse of the Forensic Mental Health System?
Journal: Bulletin of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law  Volume:18  Issue:4  Dated:(1990)  Pages:349-363
Author(s): M L Perlin; J A Dvoskin
Date Published: 1990
Page Count: 14
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Problems associated with the disposition of cases of defendants incompetent to stand trial because of AIDS dementia are examined.
Abstract: Estimates indicate that 60 to 70 percent of all AIDS patients will develop AIDS dementia, and that the mean survival time from onset of dementia to death is only 6 months. Based on this information, the creation of AIDS dementia as a diagnostic category is discussed together with the procedures regarding an individual's competency to stand trial for a criminal offense. According to current statutory procedures, if a person is deemed not competent to stand trial, then that person can be institutionalized in a forensic facility until a determination is made as to the likelihood to regain competency to stand trial in the foreseeable future. In the case of AIDS dementia, where the patient is unlikely to regain this trial competency in the foreseeable future, the State is constitutionally compelled to either release the person or initiate customary civil commitment proceedings against him. The constitutional, social policy, and medical ramifications of such proceedings are discussed in cases of AIDS dementia, and focus is placed on those issues which require greater attention.
Main Term(s): Competency to stand trial; Human Immunodeficiency Virus/Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (HIV/AIDS)
Index Term(s): Dispositions; Mental disorders
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=134570

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