Repeat competence to stand trial evaluations: A marker for severe and persistent mental illness

Guay G Chatfield, Fordham University

Abstract

In Connecticut 40 percent of the defendants who have a competence to stand trial evaluation are repeaters. When a defendant is found incompetent he/she is generally sent to a state psychiatric hospital. Because of repeat incompetence findings in the same defendants, this revolving door needed to be studied to determine what measures could be taken to reduce readmissions.^ The purpose of the study was three-fold: research, expand the knowledge base, and implications for social work practice.^ This study was a retrospective chart review of 251 records and an explanatory study which sought to identify differences between repeaters and non-repeaters.^ The results of this study show, persons with severe and pervasive psychiatric illness, who are on the fringe of the social community, are more likely to become defendants in the legal system. The failure of the community and psychiatric programs to serve these clients results in recidivism of crime, costly psychiatric care with low benefit to the community and the further decline of the client. ^

Subject Area

Health Sciences, Mental Health|Social Work|Psychology, Clinical|Sociology, Criminology and Penology

Recommended Citation

Guay G Chatfield, "Repeat competence to stand trial evaluations: A marker for severe and persistent mental illness" (January 1, 1997). ETD Collection for Fordham University. Paper AAI9816999.
http://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI9816999

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