Treatment of persons found incompetent to stand trial

Am J Psychiatry. 1980 Sep;137(9):1098-100. doi: 10.1176/ajp.137.9.1098.


Persons found incompetent to stand trial comprise the largest group of psychiatric patients committed to mental hospitals through the criminal justice system in the United States. The law dictates that these patients receive short-term treatment aimed specifically at enabling them to stand trial with as little delay as possible. The author describes the treatment and assessment aspects of a program that admits approximately 200 trial-incompetent persons each year. During 1978, 90% of the 205 patients discharged from this program were certified by the treatment staff as competent to stand trial; 97.5% of that group subsequently completed the trial process.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • California
  • Commitment of Mentally Ill / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Forensic Psychiatry* / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Hospitals, Psychiatric
  • Hospitals, State
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders / rehabilitation*
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Schizophrenia, Paranoid / rehabilitation
  • Schizophrenic Psychology