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A Review Board for Determining the Dangerousness of Mentally Ill Offenders
Harold K. Dudley, JR.
Psychiatric Services 1978; doi:
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Mental Health Services State Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation Austin, Texas

American Psychiatric Association

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Abstract

Partly as the result of legislative changes made in 1975 and 1977, Texas has a workable system for dealing with mentally abnormal offenders and assessing the dangerousness of committed offenders. The author summarizes provisions of the law related to pretrial evaluation, competency to stand trial, dispositions after a ruling of incompetency, and the insanity defense. He describes the activities, during the first two years, of multidisciplinary review boards for manifest dangerousness; the boards met monthly to assess the dangerousness of patients committed to a state hospital's maximum-security unit after rulings of incompetency (without the probability of attaining competency in a foreseeable period) or of not guilty by reason of insanity. During the two years, the boards declared 171 of 364 patients to be not manifestly dangerous and thus ready for transfer or release, but they became more conservative in making judgments of not dangerous as time passed.

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