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NCJ Number: 44595 Find in a Library
Title: PROCESS OF CRIMINAL COMMITMENT FOR PRETRIAL PSYCHIATRIC EXAMINATION - AN EVALUATION
Journal: AMERICAN JOURNAL OF PSYCHIATRY  Volume:135  Issue:1  Dated:(JANUARY 1978)  Pages:53-60
Author(s): J L GELLER; E D LISTER
Corporate Author: American Psychiatric Assoc
United States of America
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 8
Sponsoring Agency: American Psychiatric Assoc
Arlington, VA 22209
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THIS STUDY EXAMINES THE PRACTICE OF CRIMINAL COMMITMENT FOR PRETRIAL PSYCHIATRIC EVALUATION AND ANSWERS QUESTIONS REGARDING THE WAY IT HAS BEEN USED.
Abstract: IN 1971 THE MASSACHUSETTS LEGISLATURE REVISED THE LAWS REGARDING THE ADMISSION, TREATMENT, AND DISCHARGE OF MENTALLY ILL INDIVIDUALS IN AN ATTEMPT TO RECTIFY THE MISUSE OF CIVIL AND CRIMINAL COMMITMENT, TO SAFEGUARD THE CIVIL RIGHTS OF THE INDIVIDUAL, AND TO AVOID THE POTENTIALLY DESTRUCTIVE EFFECTS OF COMMITMENT. GUIDELINES WERE ESTABLISHED TO MAKE EXPLICIT THE PROCESS OF PRETRIAL COMMITMENT. THE RECORDS OF 87 PRETRIAL COMMITMENTS IN 1975 MADE UNDER THIS LAW WERE EXAMINED. STATISTICS WERE ALSO COMPILED FOR ALL ADMISSIONS TO THE HOSPITAL FOR THE PERIOD OF 1966 TO 1975. IT WAS FOUND THAT ONLY 2 OF THE 87 PRETRIAL COMMITMENTS UNDER THE NEW RESULTED IN A FINAL COURT DISPOSITION OF COMMITMENT AND THAT PRETRIAL COMMITMENTS INCREASED DURING THE PERIOD IN CONTRAST TO A DECREASE IN OTHER KINDS OF ADMISSIONS. ON THE BASIS OF THESE FINDINGS, IT IS SUGGESTED THAT SERIOUS ATTENTION BE PAID TO ARGUMENTS THAT PRETRIAL COMMITMENT SERVES NOT SO MUCH TO PROVIDE TREATMENT FOR THOSE WHO NEED IT, BUT TO CONTROL AND SEQUESTER SOCIAL DEVIANTS AND TREAT THEM UNDER COERCION. (AUTHOR ABSTRACT MODIFIED).
Index Term(s): Evaluation; Mentally ill offenders; Pretrial procedures; Psychiatric services; Psychiatry; Psychological evaluation; Studies
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