Volume 23, Issue 3 (July 1978)
Alternatives in Psychiatric Testimony on Dangerousness
In the District of Columbia, as in many state jurisdictions, psychiatrists are likely to encounter the issue of testifying in a court regarding their “predictions of future dangerousness” in two situations: (a) during the process of involuntary civil commitment or commitment after a finding of not guilty by reason of insanity in a criminal case and (b) upon petition for a conditional or unconditional release after commitment in a criminal case [1ߝ3]. The criteria for civil commitment in the District of Columbia are mental illness and a finding that the mentally ill individual is likely to injure himself or others because of his mental illness . The standard is similar after a finding of not guilty by reason of insanity [5, 6].