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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 76964 Find in a Library
Title: Psychiatric Referrals From Court
Journal: Medicine Science and the Law  Volume:21  Issue:1  Dated:(January 1981)  Pages:51-56
Author(s): J A Baird
Date Published: 1981
Page Count: 6
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: This Scottish study compares the psychiatric morbidity and other features of offenders who have received a court-ordered psychiatric evaluation with those of randomly selected patients referred to the same psychiatric outpatient clinic from other sources.
Abstract: The study sample included 57 male offenders who were referred for a psychiatric report because they had had previous psychiatric treatment or because some aspect of their crimes or their behavior suggested a mental abnormality. The control group consisted of 57 males who were seen in the outpatient department. The groups were found to be similar in age and marital status, and within each group a wide variety of psychiatric problems was discovered, several of which were recorded with similar frequency. Psychotic illness was uncommon in both groups. In general, the only clear distinguishing feature between the groups was the source of referral. The response to treatment among those in the control group who were seen on more than one occasion was encouraging, while only one subject from the sample group was seen again by the doctor who originally examined him. Overall, court-referred persons are not receiving adequate treatment. General psychiatrists deal with most court referrals and are unable to followup on cases. Moreover, the doctors are often not aware of the individuals' disposal, and the individuals may not know how to contact the doctors or if they are allowed to do so. This pattern is expected to continue in the future without adequate legislation to encourage treatment. Data tables, footnotes, and an eight-item reference list are included.
Index Term(s): Comparative analysis; Mental health services; Mentally ill offenders; Pretrial procedures; Scotland; Services effectiveness
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