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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 185442 Find in a Library
Title: Insanity Acquittees and Rearrest: The Past 24 Years
Journal: Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law  Volume:28  Issue:2  Dated:2000  Pages:225-231
Author(s): Victoria L. Harris M.D.
Date Published: 2000
Page Count: 7
Type: Literature Review
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article summarizes the peer-reviewed literature on insanity acquittees and rearrest.
Abstract: Numerous articles have commented on the difficulty of comparing the rearrest rates of insanity acquittees. It quickly became apparent that revocation/rehospitalization could be implemented, often avoiding criminal arrest. Local and jurisdictional nuances could have a dramatic effect on the rate of rearrests, as well as on the support for such programs and evaluation systems. In studies that spanned decades, the rearrest rates of released insanity acquittees are as high as those persons released from jail and prison. Attempts have been made to describe the release programs for insanity acquittees, and the amount of community supervision and control for those "revoked" and rehospitalized; however, a thorough discussion concerning the differences in rearrest rates could not be located in the peer-reviewed literature (English language). The published studies are fraught with differences and imprecise timelines, making comparisons difficult. The extent of community support and mental health treatment is often not included, making it difficult to discuss any differences. Program comparison on a single outcome variable (rearrest) that uses imprecise follow-up periods is fraught with difficulties; however, a summary of available studies with rearrest rates shows that there is a strong direct linear relationship between length of follow-up and rearrest rate. Study findings suggest that rearrest is more likely to occur within cohorts over time; that individual programs can compare their group outcome to others in a manner that is directly time-dependent; and that despite individual program variations, the rearrest of insanity acquittees is significantly explained by the time of community follow-up. 2 tables, 1 figure, and 33 references
Main Term(s): Criminology
Index Term(s): Insanity defense; Mental disorders; Mental health services; Recidivism
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