Hospital treatment of persons found not guilty by reason of insanity [2020]

After being found not guilty by reason of insanity (NGRI), individuals are typically admitted to a secure forensic hospital for evaluation and treatment. This patient population can pose a challenge to clinicians in the hospital setting due to significant violence risk, complex psychiatric presentations, and scrutiny from oversight boards and the public. This article reviews the scientific literature around several key aspects of hospital‐based treatment of insanity acquittees, including the management of inpatient aggression, the provision of specific treatments to acquittees, the assessment of violence risk and readiness for release, and the process of community transition. The authors conclude that the existing literature is heavily weighted toward the study of risk assessment and recidivism, with relatively little attention paid to the study of therapeutic modalities and recovery‐oriented care in this population.

Reena Kapoor, Tobias D. Wasser, Melissa C. Funaro, Michael A. Norko
Behavioral Sciences & the Law, 08 September 2020