Relationships between legal and clinical factors among forensic hospital patients

Bull Am Acad Psychiatry Law. 1988;16(4):321-32.


Recognizing that established relationships enhance understanding and therefore improve clinical intuition and inference, the authors examined clinical and legal characteristics of a legally and clinically heterogeneous population of maximum security forensic hospital patients (n = 380). Several findings serve to substantiate outcomes of previous studies of subgroups of offenders. Some new relationships among legal and clinical variables are established. The relationship between admission legal status and Axis I diagnosis is dependent upon the Axis II diagnosis. Those admitted for competency evaluations have the lowest percentage of psychotic diagnoses and the highest IQ. Kidnapers have the highest percentage of psychotic diagnoses and there is a relationship between previous incarceration and drug treatment refusal. The authors discuss clinical implications, generalizability, and the needs for further investigation.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antisocial Personality Disorder / rehabilitation*
  • Commitment of Mentally Ill / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Forensic Psychiatry*
  • Humans
  • Insanity Defense*
  • Male
  • Patient Advocacy / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Patient Compliance
  • Psychotropic Drugs / therapeutic use
  • Security Measures / legislation & jurisprudence*


  • Psychotropic Drugs