An international perspective on criminal responsibility and mental illness [2017]

Criminal responsibility refers to the degree to which an individual is accountable for an illegal act that he or she committed given idiographic factors such as age, cognitive abilities, and psychological functioning (Packer, 2009). Thus, perception of criminal responsibility has the potential to greatly impact forensically involved individuals, and most

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Bail and Remand in Ontario – Ministry of the Attorney General – 2016-12

Several noteworthy reports have been released in recent years that are critical of the bail and remand system and which contain recommendations for improvement. Some of these reports have been anecdotal and some have involved scholarly research. Their common theme is that the criminal justice system in Canada is failing

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Beyond Ability to Pay: Procedural Justice and Offender Compliance With Restitution Orders [2018]

Restitution to victims is rarely paid in full. One reason for low rates of payments is that offenders lack financial resources. Beyond ability to pay, however, we argue that fair treatment has implications for offender behavior. This study, a survey of probationers who owed restitution, investigated the links between (a)

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Communicating with People with Mental Health Disabilities: What Justice Sector Professionals Can Do to Remove Barriers

People with mental health disabilities face barriers in all sectors of society. To ensure these individuals have equal access to justice sector services, justice sector professionals must understand these barriers and how to use effective communication to increase equality in services. In this webinar, a new online, multi-media training course

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Controversies Concerning the Canadian Not Criminally Responsible Reform Act [2017]

In Canada, individuals found not criminally responsible on account of mental disorder are subject to the disposition recommendations of the Provincial or Territorial Review Board of the jurisdiction where the offense was committed. Bill C-14, known as “The Not Criminally Responsible Reform Act” made changes to the postverdict disposition process

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Court Outcomes Data Project

2015-02-26 Presented by Micheal Dunn, Sarah Gauthier, and Helene Philbin-Wilkinson Click here to watch the webinar Court Outcomes Data Project – 2015-02-26

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Criminal responsibility: Meta‐analysis and study space – 2018

While some correlates of criminal responsibility (CR) outcomes are consistent, others are not. Study‐level characteristics, such as sample selection, variability in the operational definition of insanity, or other unknown influences may explain discrepant findings. It is critical to systematically consolidate and assess the literature in order to guide future work.

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Crown Prosecution Manual – Ministry of the Attorney General

Crown Prosecution Manual: The Crown Prosecution Manual contains information on the criminal process and the role of Prosecutors in the criminal justice system. It is also used by the Attorney General to provide direction to Prosecutors.

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Does Reducing Case Processing Time Reduce Recidivism? A Study of the Early Case Resolution Court [2018]

Case processing times throughout the United States exceed national standards created by multiple agencies. To combat this, multiple expedited case processing courts have been developed across the nation; however, research regarding these courts has failed to consider recidivism outcomes among participants. We examined the outcomes of a specialized court in

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Does the use of risk assessments in sentences respect the right to due process? A critical analysis of the Wisconsin v. Loomis ruling – 2018

On 13 July 2016, the Supreme Court of Wisconsin published a crucial decision which ruled for the first time ever about the constitutionality of using algorithms in sentencing. The ruling accepted their use, arguing that defendants’ right to due process was not violated by the mere fact that they could

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Fitness to Stand Trial and Criminal Responsibility Assessments in Canada: Improving Access to Qualified Mental Health Professionals – Canadian Psychological Association – 2017-12

The Canadian Psychological Association (CPA) is the national association for the science, practice and education of psychology in Canada. The assessment of fitness to stand trial and the assessment of criminal responsibility are key activities necessary to the administration of justice at the interface of mental health and the law. Canadian psychologists have

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Insanity defense typology – 2018

Much has been written about how to conduct insanity defense evaluations, as well as how to operationalize the legal definitions of insanity. However, the insanity defense has never been categorized by a typology. This article describes a typology of six subtypes of the insanity defense: paranoid self‐defense, “but it’s mine,”

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Insanity findings and evaluation practices: A state‐wide review of court‐ordered reports – 2018

Evaluations of legal sanity are some of the most complex and consequential mental health evaluations that forensic clinicians perform for the courts. Thus, there is strong reason to monitor the wide‐scale process and conclusions of sanity evaluations. In this study, we review 1,111 court‐ordered sanity evaluation reports submitted by 74

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Jail Versus Probation: A Gender-Specific Test of Differential Effectiveness and Moderators of Sanction Effects [2018]

This study uses data from male and female adult offenders sentenced in a large urban county in the United States (n = 15,727) to examine the relative impact of jail and probation on recidivism. The study also explores how various risk and need factors moderate the effects of a jail

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Judicial appraisals of risk assessment in sentencing [2018]

The assessment of an offender’s risk of recidivism is emerging as a key consideration in sentencing policy in many US jurisdictions. However, little information is available on how actual sentencing judges view this development. This study surveys the views of a population sample of judges in Virginia, the state that

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Medication state at the time of the offense: Medication noncompliance, insight and criminal responsibility – 2018

This study used a mixed quantitative‐qualitative methodology to examine whether mock jurors considered a defendant’s meta‐responsibility – specifically, the defendant’s medication noncompliance and degree of insight into his/her schizophrenia – when determining the person’s criminal responsibility. The degree of expert witness explanation regarding these factors was also varied. Participants (n

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Mentally ill offenders eligible for diversion at local court in New South Wales (NSW), Australia: factors associated with initially successful diversion [2018]

Diversion away from the criminal justice system and into mental health treatment services is a key strategy for addressing the well-established burden of mental illness suffered by those presenting to court. While mental health courts, court liaison and court diversion services have been developed in many jurisdictions internationally, there is

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Moving the Wheels of Justice: Communication about Mental Health within the Courthouse

• To gain insights into enhancing communication when interacting with people with mental health issues. • To learn strategies on how to engage with people with mental health issues. • To bring together the justice and mental health sectors to share knowledge, insights, and responsibilities, and to problem solve. •

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Ontario Pocket Guide – Youth Criminal Justice Act Canada – 2014

Ontario Government guide to the Youth Criminal Justice Act – 2014 Ontario Pocket Guide – Youth Criminal Justice Act Canada – 2014

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Opening the Doors of Justice – An Attempt to Make True Justice Accessible to People with an Intellectual Disability Who Have Been the Victims of a Crime – 2015-11-17

Mark Pathak pioneered a model of work to enable people with intellectual disabilities engage with the criminal justice system as complainants. The framework provides specialist support to help witnesses prepare for the courtroom experience while helping the court understand in advance the capabilities of the witnesses. Opening the Doors of Justice –

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Prison sentences: last resort or the default sanction? [2018]

This paper discusses the sentencing purposes for penal penalties, judges’ perceptions of sentencing purposes and prison sentences, and the effects of penal sanctions. We examine judges’ positions towards different penalties, with a focus on imprisonment, since their views on the different penalties are related to their sentencing decision-making. Understanding these

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Progressively Tougher Sanctioning and Recidivism: Assessing the Effects of Different Types of Sanctions [2017]

Objectives: The study tests two related hypotheses about recidivist sentencing premiums and the progressive sanctioning logic on which they rest: (1) among first-time felons, punitive sanctions will more effectively reduce recidivism than will less severe sanctions and (2) among second-time felons, progressively tougher sanctions will more effectively reduce recidivism than

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Remand as a Cross-Institutional System: Examining the Process of Punishment before Conviction [2018]

Currently in Canada, there are more legally innocent people in custody in provincial/territorial prisons than there are sentenced prisoners. This group, known as remand prisoners, constituted 37% of the total prison population – federal and provincial/territorial – in Canada in 2015. Despite growing public attention and legal awareness of the

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Sureties as Civilian Jailers: Understanding the Role of the Court in the Lives of Accused Released on Surety Bail in Ontario [2018]

Changes to Ontario’s bail system (2017) are intended to keep accused out of custody and in the community as they await trial. For the Ministry of the Attorney General, living in the community while on bail is a vast improvement to remand because there is minimal state involvement in the

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The Australasian Approach to the Definition of Mental Disorder in a Mental Health Act [2018]

How should the mental element be defined in the legal standards governing a person’s ‘sectioning’ or placement under the Mental Health Act (MHA)? This article considers how this mental element is defined in many MHAs in Australasia: via a statutory list of disorders of mental function said to ‘characterise’ the

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