Volume 20, Issue 4 (October 1975)
Problems Surrounding Release of Persons Found Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity
The concept of not guilty by reason of insanity (NGI) is not simply a philosophical one dealing with courtroom drama [1,2]. Despite the attention paid to trial issues and matters of strategy and testimony, there has been a relative neglect in the study of the practical effects of current practices. The labeling process sets in motion a series of events. Generally, in the United States, a person found not guilty by reason of insanity is hospitalized either in a special state institution for the “criminally insane” or in a designated forensic unit at a state hospital. The handling, disposition, and technicalities of release are extremely varied and complex. The vagaries of release and subsequent antisocial behavior by an NGI patient (hereafter referred to as NGI) have resulted in adverse publicity far out of proportion to the numbers of people or problems involved.