Published Online: 1 October 1983
Page Count: 7
Research psychologist, John Umstead Hospital, Butner, NC
Director of forensic training, Mendota Mental Health Institute, Madison, WI
Research consultant, John Umstead Hospital, Butner, NC
(Received 16 December 1982; accepted 28 February 1983)
In 1981, North Carolina joined a growing number of states in passing legislation requiring judicial concurrence with discharge decisions for civilly committed patients who had been found either not competent to proceed to trial or not guilty by reason of insanity. The authors studied all such patients at one of North Carolina's four state mental hospitals during the first year of the new law's operation, and found that there were only 16 of them. These patients were compared to a control sample of civilly committed patients without criminal charges; it was found that the forensic patients spent longer in the hospital than the controls, but still significantly less time than reported in studies from other states. The authors discuss possible reasons for these differences and comment on the effectiveness of such legislation.
Paper ID: JFS11590J