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Designing conditional release systems for insanity acquittees

Abstract

Monitored treatment in the community, also known as conditional release, has been described as the most important advance in the treatment of insanity acquittees in the last decade. Despite the importance of the development of conditional release, however, there has been relatively little written about relevant issues and planning principles important in designing and implementing conditional release systems. The present paper discusses important considerations relevant to conditional release that are associated with key decision points within systems for persons found not guilty by reason of insanity (NGRI). Four planning principles, generalizable to all NGRI systems, are then presented in a way that integrates the previous discussion. It is concluded that conditional release plays a crucial role in the treatment of insanity acquittees and that mental health administrators may either proactively modify their systems, in a way that balances public safety with individual rights and treatment needs, or wait for the modification mandate to be forced upon them in the wake of a highly publicized, heinous offense.

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Griffin, P.A., Steadman, H.J. & Heilbrun, K. Designing conditional release systems for insanity acquittees. The Journal of Mental Health Administration 18, 231–241 (1991). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02518594

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Keywords

  • Public Safety
  • Mental Health System
  • Criminal Court
  • Community Psychiatry
  • Insanity Defense