Long-term competence restoration

Douglas R Morris, Nathaniel J DeYoung
2014 The journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law  
While the United States Supreme Court's Jackson v. Indiana decision and most state statutes mandate determinations of incompetent defendants' restoration probabilities, courts and forensic clinicians continue to lack empirical evidence to guide these determinations and do not yet have a consensus regarding whether and under what circumstances incompetent defendants are restorable. The evidence base concerning the restoration likelihood of those defendants who fail initial restoration efforts is
more » ... toration efforts is even further diminished and has largely gone unstudied. In this study, we examined the disposition of a cohort of defendants who underwent long-term competence restoration efforts (greater than six months) and identified factors related to whether these defendants were able to attain restoration and adjudicative success. Approximately two-thirds (n = 52) of the 81 individuals undergoing extended restoration efforts were eventually deemed restored to competence. Lengths of hospitalization until successful restoration are presented with implications for the reasonable length of time that restoration efforts should persist. Older individuals were less likely to be restored and successfully adjudicated, and individuals with more severe charges and greater factual legal understanding were more likely to be restored and adjudicated. The significance of these findings for courts and forensic clinicians is discussed.
pmid:24618523 fatcat:ql5dgiaoijcf3krvfbdglgbdwq