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NCJ Number: 51588 Find in a Library
Title: MENTALLY DISORDERED OFFENDER - A CAPTIVE OF THE STATE? (FROM OFFENDERS AND CORRECTIONS, 1978, BY DENIS SZABO AND SUSAN KATZENELSON - SEE NCJ-51581)
Author(s): R GOLDSMITH-KASINSKY
Corporate Author: Praeger Publishers
United States of America

American Soc of Criminology
Criminology
United States of America
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 26
Sponsoring Agency: American Soc of Criminology
Columbus, OH 43212
Praeger Publishers
Westport, CT 06881
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: CANADA'S USE OF CIVIL COMMITMENT PROCEDURES ALONG WITH INDETERMINATE SENTENCES TO KEEP OFFENDERS LABELED AS 'MENTALLY DISORDERED' IN PERPETUAL DETENTION WITHOUT DUE PROCESS IS CRITICIZED.
Abstract: THE SITUATION IS ILLUSTRATED WITH CASE STUDIES FROM THE SECURITY WING OF A PROVINCIAL MENTAL HOSPITAL IN BRITISH COLUMBIA. AN OVERVIEW IS GIVEN OF THE USE OF PREVENTIVE DETENTION FOR PERSONS CONSIDERED 'SOCIAL NUISANCES' AND THE USE AND ABUSE OF THE INDETERMINATE SENTENCE. THE THERAPEUTIC MODEL OF TREATMENT FOR CRIMINAL OFFENDERS IS CONTRASTED WITH THE CRIMINAL MODEL. ALTHOUGH THE THERAPEUTIC MODEL SEEMS MORE HUMANE ON THE SURFACE, ACCORDING TO THIS ANALYSIS, IT HOLDS HIDDEN DANGERS, THE GREATEST OF WHICH IS DENIAL OF CIVIL LIBERTIES. INTERVIEWS WITH 'PATIENTS' COMMITTED TO THE HOSPITAL ARE SUMMARIZED. THE INTERVIEWS UNDERSCORE THE FAILURE OF THE PSYCHIATRIC FACILITY TO EITHER TREAT THE PATIENTS OR RETURN THEM TO SOCIETY. BECAUSE THE STANDARDS FOR RELEASE ARE SO VAGUE, THE PATIENT CAN BE HELD PRISONER FOR YEARS AND THERE IS LITTLE CHANCE FOR HIM TO EARN ANY FORM OF RELEASE. THE CIVIL COMMITMENT PROCEDURES IN CANADA ARE DETAILED AND THEIR LACK OF REGARD FOR DUE PROCESS IS CRITICIZED. NUMEROUS CASE HISTORIES ARE CITED TO SUPPORT THIS CRITICISM. THE USE OF CIVIL COMMITMENT AND INDETERMINANT PROCEEDINGS FOR THOSE PERSONS JUDGED NOT GUILTY BY REASON OF INSANITY AND FOR PERSONS WHO BECOME MENTALLY ILL WHILE IN PRISON IS ALSO REVIEWED. IT IS CONCLUDED THAT THE ENTIRE COMMITMENT SYSTEM NEEDS REFORM, THAT DUE PROCESS NEEDS TO BE BUILT INTO EACH STEP, THAT THE 'RIGHT TO TREATMENT' ALSO IMPLIES THE 'RIGHT TO BE LET ALONE.' REFERENCES ARE APPENDED. (GLR)
Index Term(s): Canada; Critiques; Indeterminate sentences; Mentally ill offenders; Psychiatric services; Right to Due Process
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=51588

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