Volume 39, Issue 4 (July 1994)
The Incompetent Defendant: Support Systems Help Avoid Future Legal Problems
Reducing crime and improving efficiency of our criminal justice system should be facilitated by identifying how to treat and manage mental health patients who are prone to committing criminal acts more effectively. A total of 142 competency evaluations were reviewed from cases evaluated by the Galveston County Forensic Psychiatrist from 1984 to 1990. Examination of data from these defendants allowed us to address the psychiatric needs of these defendants in terms of contact with the mental health system, particularly those who had more than one criminal justice system contact. The latter defendants lacked social support systems and consistent mental health system follow-up to provide stabilization of their condition. It was felt that this was a factor in their more frequent contact with the criminal justice system.