Treatment pathways among person found not criminally responsible

Mr Bob Green1

1QFMHS, Brisbane, Australia

A key question regarding persons found not criminally responsible due to mental illness concerns the person’s mental state at the time of the offence. Given the relationship between mental illness and violence it follows that mental health treatment related factors have the potential to mitigate violence risk amongst those individuals for whom violence is associated with their mental illness. This is not to suggest that mental health treatment alone would reduce violence in this population or more broadly, but mental health services have the potential to produce better outcomes for persons with a mental illness at risk of offending.

There is a body of literature examining the re-offending and clinical outcomes of persons who are found not criminally responsible due to mental illness. However, there is limited research regarding the pathways to committing an offence which leads to an insanity determination. Given persons found not criminally responsible were determined to be experiencing a mental illness at the time of offending it may be instructive to examine factors which could impact on mental health treatment.  In addition to factors related to the individual, there are treatment events which can impact on the provision of treatment. These events include factors such as change of diagnosis, case closure and missed opportunities at providing treatment.

This presentation reports on preliminary data examining the treatment pathways for a cohort of individuals found not criminally responsible in Queensland in 2015. Better understanding the pathways to offending provides opportunities to reducing offending in this group.


Bob currently is the program co-ordinator for the Queensland community risk management program. He has worked in community and in-patient forensic settings and has an interest in researching clinical judgment.

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