Statistics Canada - Statistique Canada

Special study on mentally disordered accused and the criminal justice system


The policy and processes involving mentally disordered accused can be complex. Persons found unfit to stand trial, or not criminally responsible for their actions on account of a mental disorder, come into contact with both the health and justice systems. With the increasing availability over the past two to three decades of psychotropic medication for mentally disordered persons, the health system is now able to treat this group in a non-institutionalized setting. Similarly, dispositions made by the court, when the accused has been found either unfit to stand trial or else not criminally responsible for their actions, have shifted from indeterminate incarceration to minimal detention and community-based treatment. This document reviews the processes undertaken by persons identified as mentally disordered in court and identifies potential data-collection opportunities.

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