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J Am Acad Psychiatry Law. 2010;38(3):349-58.

Civil commitment outcomes of incompetent defendants.

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Department of Psychiatry, Maricopa Integrated Health System and Maricopa County Superior Court, Phoenix, AZ, USA.


In Maricopa County, Arizona, most defendants who are found not competent and not restorable (NCNR) are admitted involuntarily to an acute-care inpatient hospital. Many of these patients would most likely not have met the State's usual admission criteria for acute inpatient care had they not been evaluated in relation to a criminal offense. Is this group treated differently from their peers who are not involved in the criminal justice system? We examined records for 293 NCNR admissions, retrospectively, to assess their admission status and the outcomes of their commitment. We compared them to 280 matched cases of patients admitted involuntarily from the community (non-NCNR). The NCNR group met fewer admission criteria and received court-ordered treatment (COT) 22 percent more often than did the non-NCNR patients. The NCNR patients had longer hospital stays despite being found less dangerous to themselves or others than the community sample. Results suggest that NCNR individuals are treated differently from non-NCNR patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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