Outcome of hospitalization for defendants found incompetent to stand trial

Behav Sci Law. 1992 Summer;10(3):371-83. doi: 10.1002/bsl.2370100307.


This study assessed the outcome of hospitalization for incompetent criminal defendants admitted to the forensic unit of a state hospital for treatment during a 4-year period. Findings suggested that the overwhelming majority of the defendants were restored to competency. The defendants also showed significant improvement in overall severity of psychopathology during hospitalization. Further, the duration of hospitalization for these defendants was relatively short. Although these results are promising with regard to treatment of incompetent defendants, predicting the outcome of hospitalization for these defendants was problematic. Prediction of competency restoration was precluded because persistent incompetence was so infrequent. Moreover, multiple regression analyses suggested limited predictive ability with regard to defendants' discharge level of functioning or length of hospitalization. These findings are consistent with the view that examiners should exercise caution in making recommendations to the courts concerning treatability of incompetent defendants.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Forensic Psychiatry / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Hospitalization
  • Humans
  • Length of Stay
  • Male
  • Mental Competency / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Mental Disorders / therapy*
  • Oklahoma
  • Prisoners* / psychology
  • Regression Analysis
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome