A Follow-Up Study of Persons Found Not Criminally Responsible on Account of Mental Disorder in British Columbia
James D Livingston, MA1, Derek Wilson, MA2, George Tien, PhD2 Lynda Bond, MA3
Objective: To describe the characteristics of individuals found not criminally responsible on account of mental disorder (NCRMD) after the 1992 Criminal Code amendments and to track their movement through the forensic system, as well as to unveil the changes to British Columbia’s forensic psychiatric system that resulted from Bill C-30.
Method: Profile information relating to persons found NCRMD between February 4, 1992, and February 4, 1998, in British Columbia was collected and analyzed. Community follow-up data was collected and analyzed for a 24-month period following a subject’s discharge from hospital.
Results: A substantially greater number of individuals entered the forensic psychiatric system in British Columbia after Bill C-30 was implemented. The post-1992 forensic psychiatric population contained fewer persons charged with serious index offences and a greater number of persons charged with relatively minor offences. The length of hospitalization for the NCRMD cohort decreased substantially after the 1992 Criminal Code amendments.
Conclusion: The Bill C-30 provisions have made the NCRMD defence an attractive option for defendants and legal counsel.
(Can J Psychiatry 2003:48: 408–415)
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