Volume 18, Issue 1 (January 1973)
Psychiatric Morbidity and Treatment of Prison Inmates
The failure to provide adequate treatment for persons committed to mental institutions has recently received considerable attention. The doctrine of “the right to treatment” has been judicially expressed in the now famous Rouse v. Cameron decision (373F 2d 451), (D.C. Cir., 1966). Rouse was sent to St. Elizabeth Hospital in the District of Columbia after he was found not guilty of a crime by reason of insanity. Three years later he sought release stating that he was not receiving adequate treatment to which he was entitled. The District of Columbia Court of Appeals stated that the possibility of ”indefinite commitment without treatment of one who has been found not criminally responsible may be so inhuman as to be cruel and unusual punishment.” A great deal of legal literature has been devoted to this issue.