The Utility of Treatment Orders in the Restoration of Competence to Stand Trial

  • Gary A Chaimowitz McMaster University, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences & St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton, Forensic Psychiatry Program
  • Ivana Furimsky McMaster University, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences & St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton, Forensic Psychiatry Program
  • Natashia Singh McMaster University, Faculty of Health Sciences
  • Olubukola Kolawole McMaster University, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences & St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton, Forensic Psychiatry Program

Abstract

Involuntary treatment orders to restore competence to stand trial under the Criminal Code of Canada provide an opportunity to explore variables associated with restoration. We reviewed all 199 defendants assessed for fitness to stand trial in a catchment area of 2.3 million people over a two-year period, of which 26 were admitted to a regional psychiatric program under a treatment order. All had a psychotic disorder, and 92% (n=24) were restored to competence within the 60-day order period. No specific factors were associated with restoration. Unlike other studies, our study found that psychosis did not militate against restoration of competence.

Published
2018-01-31