skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 93662 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Kentucky's Experience With the 'Guilty-But-Mentally-Ill' Verdict - A Review and Some Empirical Observations
Author(s): V L Stephens; D E Wagner
Corporate Author: Kentucky Correctional Psychiatric Ctr
United States of America
Date Published: 1984
Page Count: 74
Sponsoring Agency: Kentucky Correctional Psychiatric Ctr
LaGrange, KY 40031
National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
NCJRS Photocopy Services
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America

NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
United States of America
Document: PDF
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This report traces the legal and political history of Kentucky's law providing for a guilty but mentally ill (GBMI) verdict in criminal cases, describes characteristics of the 13 individuals admitted to the Kentucky Correctional Psychiatric Center (KCPC) during the law's first year, and compares them with a Michigan study of its GBMI population.
Abstract: Kentucky adopted the American Law Institute standard for the insanity defense in 1974. While dissatisfaction with the State's provisions for the insanity defense was probably simmering for years, certain instances where mentally disturbed individuals committed violent crimes in the late 1970's provided the impetus for reform. In 1980, the Supreme Court of Kentucky recommended legislation of the GBMI statute. After considerable controversy in which the media played a major role, the GBMI law was passed in March 1982. Concern among staff members at the KCPC regarding the new law's impact on services to mentally ill inmates prompted an organized effort to gather social and psychological data on the first GBMI cases. Its results are compared with a Michigan study of all 204 male defendants found GBMI after 1975 until 1981. No GBMI cases were admitted to the KCPC during the first quarter the law was in effect, but two came in the second quarter, five in the third, and six in the last quarter. All these defendants did have diagnosable mental disorders at the time of their admission. All these disorders are potentially treatable, although most do not require hospitalization. The average GBMI case tended to be a white male in his 30's who had a history of hospitalization and arrest. There was also a tendency for GBMI defendants to be poor, without high school educations, of low intelligence, represented by court appointed attorneys, and convicted by plea bargaining. Several GBMIs told researchers that their attorneys encouraged the decision to plead GBMI, saying their sentences would be shorter. The results of this study generally are consistent with findings from the Michigan research. Recommendations for future research and footnotes are included. The appendixes contain a structured psychiatric history interview form, graphs, tables, and psychometric data.
Index Term(s): Guilty but mentally ill; Kentucky; Mentally ill offenders; Michigan; Psychological evaluation
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.