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NCJ Number: 67202 Find in a Library
Title: ONTARIO'S TREATMENT OF THE 'CRIMINALLY INSANE' AND THE POTENTIALLY DANGEROUS - THE QUESTIONABLE WISDOM OF PROCEDURAL REFORM
Journal: CANADIAN JOURNAL OF CRIMINOLOGY  Volume:22  Issue:2  Dated:(APRIL 1980)  Pages:151-167
Author(s): N BOYD
Corporate Author: Canadian Assoc for the Prevention of Crime
Canada
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 17
Sponsoring Agency: Canadian Assoc for the Prevention of Crime
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: Canada
Annotation: THE PROCEDURES OF CIVIL AND CRIMINAL COMMITMENT FOR INSANE OFFENDERS AND POTENTIALLY DANGEROUS INDIVIDUALS IN ONTARIO, CANADA ARE CRITICIZED.
Abstract: IT IS ARGUED THAT ONTAARIO'S RECENT PROCEDURAL REFORMS PROTECTING THE RIGHTS OF INSANE OFFENDERS AND POTENTIALLY DANGEROUS INDIVIDUALS ARE MISGUIDED. INSTEAD, LEGAL REFORM SHOLD FOCUS UPON RETHINKING THE MENTAL HEALTH ACT'S D(1968) CIVIL COMMITMENT PROCEDURES AND UPON ABOLISHING THE INDETERMINATE CRIMINAL FOR INSANE OFFENDERS. AN ANALYSIS OF ONTARIO'S REGULATIONS SHOWS THAT BOTH THE DECISIONS TO COMMIT AND THE DECISION TO RELEASE THE CCRIMINALLY INSANE ARE REALLY POLITICAL RATHER THAN MEDICAL DECISIONS, AND THAT THE DEFINITIONS OF 'INTOLERABLE DEVIANCE' AND 'DANGEROUSNESS UPON RELEASE' LIE OUTSIDE THE PSYCHIATRISTS' EXPERTISE AND WILL PROVOKE WIDELY DIFFERING PSYCHIATRIC OPINIONS. IT IS ALSO ARGUED THAT PSYCHIATRIC DISTINCTIONS BETWEEN SANITY AND INSANITY ARE NEITHER RELIABLE NOR VALID. RECEN STATISTICS SHOW AA CONSIDERABLE DROP IN INVOLUNTARILY COMMITMENTS IN ONTARIO PROVINCE. SINCE THE NUMBER OF VOLUNTARY COMMITMENTS HAS RISEN CORRESPONDINGLY, IT APPEARS THAT TH DROP IS DUE TO THE PSYCHIATRIC PRACTICE OF GIVING PATIENTS A 'CHOICE' BETWEEN VOLUNTARY AND INVOLUNTARY COMMITMENT. ALTHOUGH A REDUCTION IN INVOLUNTARY COMMITMENTS IS DESIRABLE, THE COMMITMENT PROCEDURES THEMSELVES ARE IN GREATER NEED OF REFORM. PROCEDURAL REFORMS TO DATE HAVE ALLOWED CIVIL COMMITMENT TO REMAIN A MEDICAL DECISION RATHER THAN MAKING IT A LEGAL AND POLITICAL DECISION. THE ARTICLE INCLUDES ONE ONE STATISTICAL CHART (VOLUNTARY AND INVOLUNTARY COMMITMENTS) AND BIBLIOGRAPHICAL FOOTNOTES. (SAJ)
Index Term(s): Civil commitment; Constitutional Rights/Civil Liberties; Criminally insane persons; Freedom of speech; Mentally ill offenders; Ontario; Procedures; Reform
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=67202

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