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NCJ Number: 51589 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: DANGEROUSNESS AMONG INCOMPETENT FELONY DEFENDENTS - A TENTATIVE ASSESSMENT OF PREDICTIVE VALIDITY (FROM OFFENDERS AND CORRECTIONS, 1978, BY DENIS SZABO AND SUSAN KATZNELSON - SEE NCJ-51581)
Author(s): H J STEADMAN; J J COCOZZA
Corporate Author: Praeger Publishers
United States of America

American Soc of Criminology
Criminology
United States of America
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 14
Sponsoring Agency: American Soc of Criminology
Columbus, OH 43212
Praeger Publishers
Westport, CT 06881
US Dept of Health, Education, and Welfare
Washington, DC 20203
Grant Number: MH20367
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THIS STUDY EXAMINES THE RATIONALE BEHIND NEW YORK'S CRIMINAL PROCEDURE LAW, WHICH ORDERS PSYCHIATRIC STUDY OF ALL DEFENDANTS FOUND INCOMPETENT TO STAND TRIAL, AND TESTS THE PREDICITIVE VALIDITY OF SUCH EXAMINATIONS.
Abstract: FOLLOWING AN OVERVIEW OF THE USE OF PSYCHIATRIC EVALUATION IN CRIMINAL CASES, THE NEW YORK LAW IS DESCRIBED. IT MANDATES THAT ALL FELONY DEFENDANTS FOUND INCOMPETENT TO STAND TRIAL MUST BE EVALUATED BY A PSYCHIATRIST AND A DETERMINATION OF 'DANGEROUSNESS' MADE. THIS 3-YEAR STUDY FOLLOWS 257 MEN SO EVALUATED. THE INITIAL DATA WERE EXAMINED TO ISOLATE THOSE FACTORS WHICH LED THE PSYCHIATRISTS TO DETERMINE THAT THE DEFENDANT MIGHT OR MIGHT NOT BE DANGEROUS. AGE, RACE, EDUCATION, AND MARITAL STATE WERE NOT SIGNIFICANT. A HISTORY OF ALCOHOLISM SEEMED SLIGHTLY ASSOCIATED WITH A DETERMINATION OF 'DANGEROUS,' BUT THIS WAS NOT SIGNIFICANT. THE ONLY OVERRIDING FACTOR WAS THE CRIME COMMITTED. THERE WAS A SIGNIFICANT ASSOCIATION BETWEEN A VIOLENT CRIME DIRECTED AGAINST ANOTHER PERSON AND A 'DANGEROUS' LABEL. PAST CRIMINAL HISTORY WAS SLIGHTLY SIGNIFICANT AS WAS A HISTORY OF PREVIOUS PSYCHIATRIC HOSPITALIZATION. JUST AS THERE WAS LITTLE TO DISTINGUISH THE DANGEROUS FROM THE NONDANGEROUS BASED ON BACKGROUND CHARACTERISTICS, THERE WAS ALSO LITTLE TO DISTINGUISH THE TWO GROUPS WHEN ONE EXAMINES THEIR OUTCOMES. BOTH GROUPS WERE EQUALLY LIKELY TO BE ASSAULTIVE WHILE HOSPITALIZED, REARRESTED, OR REARRESTED FOR VIOLENT OFFENSES. ONE GROUP SCORED HIGHER ON ONE MEASURE, THE OTHER ON ANOTHER, FOR AN OVERALL PATTERN THAT ESSENTIALLY SHOWS LITTLE DIFFERENCE. TABLES PRESENT THESE COMPARISONS AND SUMMARIZE THE STUDY DATA. IT IS CONCLUDED THAT THE PSYCHIATRIC EVALUATIONS WERE NO MORE PREDICTIVE THAN A CHANCE DETERMINATION WOULD HAVE BEEN. THE INCREASING USE OF PSYCHIATRIC EVALUATION IN COURT PROCEEDINGS IS QUESTIONED. REFERENCES ARE APPENDED. (GLR)
Index Term(s): Competency to stand trial; New York; Psychiatry; Psychological evaluation; State laws; Violent offenders
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=51589

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