Oregon Releases People Found Not Guilty By Reason Of Insanity More Quickly Than Nearly Every Other State
A ProPublica investigation shines a light on Oregon's unique process of reviewing the cases of defendants found not guilty by reason of insanity. About 35 percent of the people in that category were charged with new crimes within three years of being freed by state officials.
Oregon Board Says Those Found Criminally Insane Rarely Commit New Crimes. The Numbers Say Otherwise.
About 35 percent of people found criminally insane in Oregon and then let out of supervised psychiatric treatment were charged with new crimes within three years of being freed by state officials, according to a comprehensive new analysis by ProPublica and the Malheur Enterprise. The analysis and interviews show that Oregon releases people found not guilty by reason of insanity from supervision and treatment more quickly than nearly every other state in the nation. The speed at which the state releases the criminally insane from custody is driven by both Oregon’s unique-in-the-nation law and state officials’ expansive interpretation of applicable federal court rulings. (Fraser, 11/14)
What Oregon Officials Knew And When They Knew It
The top of the Oregon Psychiatric Security Review Board’s website boasts of its success in reforming people acquitted of crimes because of a mental disorder: “With public safety as its primary focus, the Board has an exceptional record of reintegrating clients into the community with a 6 year average 0.46% adult recidivism rate.” In fact, a review of public records shows that the board has known that its record with clients after they are released is far less impressive. The 0.46 percent rate of recidivism refers only to people still in the board’s custody. (Fraser, 11/14)