By Matthew F. Shaw
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Additional info for After the Insanity Defense: When the Acquitted Return to the Community (Criminal Justice: Recent Scholarship)
However, these results also raise the possibility that punitive models of containment are being employed despite their potential violation of individuals’ rights. Once persons are acquitted NGRI, they can be hospitalized or placed on conditional release if they are dangerously mentally ill. This protective measure is consistent with the dangerousness to others and dangerousness to self criteria that commonly influences hospital admissions. These interventions also may be deemed clinically appropriate in certain cases.
120 The variation could be due to a variety of different factors: judges and juries may be biased toward females and therefore acquit less impaired females; females may be less likely to use the 48 After the Insanity Defense defense and therefore only use it when severely impaired; and/or insanity may become manifest in females in more clear and distinct patterns than males. The literature has not distinguished among these possibilities. If the first hypothesis were true, one would expect samples of female NGRI acquittees to include less serious cases with less potential to recidivate.
Similarly, police contact rates should always be higher than or equal to arrest rates. 108 If more studies obtained such proportions, a standardized “conversion rate” could be calculated. However, there is not enough data to integrate these results adequately. Therefore, the external validity of the results is limited. ii. Data Collection Procedures: The means by which data were collected also varied considerably between studies. Criminal recidivism rates were obtained through conditional release committee records, official databases, police rap sheets, FBI records, corroborative reports by relatives, interviews with case workers and therapists, and self reports.