Oregon’s Model Of Caring For Criminally Insane Is Expensive But Also Successful
Over the past five years, the rate of recidivism for those on conditional release in Oregon after a verdict of criminal insanity is 0.47 percent. By comparison, one report put the recidivism rate among all Oregon ex-inmates, whether mentally ill or not, at about 18 percent.
What Care For The Criminally Insane Can Teach Us About Mental Health Treatment
About 14 percent of state and federal prisoners (about 200,000) and 26 percent of jailed inmates (about 190,000) have serious mental illnesses, according to a report last year by the U.S. Department of Justice. Prison and jail officials don’t have the resources to treat them, and many deteriorate behind bars. By contrast, in some states those judged to be criminally insane receive better mental health treatment than practically anybody else — including people who have never committed a crime. (Ollove, 4/25)
In related news —
Oregon Doctors Warned That A Killer And Rapist Would Likely Attack Again. Then the State Released Him.
Over time, Oregon lawmakers and judges have narrowed the conditions covered by a plea of “guilty except for insanity,” eliminating defendants who only suffer from personality disorders and psychosis caused by substance use. Legislators intended to make it more difficult to escape criminal prosecution. As a result, some people previously judged legally insane suddenly were eligible for release. (Fraser, 4/25)