skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 154093 Find in a Library
Title: Involuntary Electro-Convulsive Therapy To Restore Competency To Stand Trial: A Five Year Study in New York State
Journal: Journal of Forensic Sciences  Volume:40  Issue:2  Dated:(March 1995)  Pages:183-187
Author(s): B Ladds
Date Published: 1995
Page Count: 5
Type: Survey
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This analysis of records from two forensic psychiatry facilities in New York State between July 1986 and July 1991 revealed that involuntary electroconvulsive therapy is still requested and administered to incompetent defendants and that its use should be reexamined in view of the concerns raised in the 1992 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Riggins v. Nevada.
Abstract: The Riggins case made it likely that lower courts will review if, and under what conditions, pretrial criminal defendants may be treated involuntarily with antipsychotic medication. The similar use of ECT also should be considered. The research analyzed the records of approximately 1,365 persons who were incompetent to stand trial. The results revealed one case of a request to the court to administer involuntary ECT to an incompetent defendant. This request was granted after a Rivers hearing, at which it was determined that the individual lacked the capacity to refuse the proposed treatment and that the treatment was in his best interests. The involuntary ECT was not effective. The analysis suggested the desirability of reconsidering whether and under what conditions ECT should be involuntarily administered to a pretrial defendant. Recommended measures in these cases include judicial review and special precautions to minimize memory impairment. 41 references (Author abstract modified)
Main Term(s): Criminology
Index Term(s): Competency to testify; Forensic psychiatry; Involuntary treatment; Mental disorders
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.