'For the Misdemeanor Outlaw': The Impact of the Ada on the Institutionalization of Criminal Defendants with Mental Disabilities
Posted: 8 Mar 2001
This article argues that the Supreme Court's decision in Olmstead v. L.C., 119 S. Ct. 2176 (1999), finding a qualified right to community treatment and services for certain institutionalized persons under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), causes us to reconceptualize state policies that mandate that all defendants in four categories - those being evaluated for competency to stand trial, those found permanently incompetent to stand trial under the Supreme Court's decision in Jackson v. Indiana, 406 U.S. 715 (1972), those being evaluated for insanity, and those found not guilty by reason of insanity - be treated and housed in the state's maximum security forensic facility. It concludes that such across-the-board policies that fail to take into account the severity of the crime with which the defendant is charged, the degree of his current dangerousness, and the severity of his mental illness violate the ADA under the terms of the Olmstead decision.
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