Special Dispositional Alternatives for Abnormal Offenders

Developments in the Law
  • George E. Dix
Part of the Perspectives in Law & Psychology book series (PILP, volume 6)


Other chapters of this book deal with what might usefully be regarded as “indirect” methods of diverting criminal offenders into the mental health system. None of the procedures discussed in the other chapters permit a convicting court to determine that a particular defendant, although criminally responsible, is most appropriately dealt with by the mental health system and to implement that determination by committing the offender to a mental health program. Incompetency to stand trial, covered in Chapter 1, comes into play before the defendant’s guilt or innocence is considered. Commitment following acquittal by reason of insanity, addressed in Chapter 3, assumes the absence of criminal responsibility and thus “guilt.” Transferring imprisoned offenders from correctional to mental health placements, considered in Chapter 7, does not involve the convicting court. But a number of jurisdictions traditionally have provided a “direct” means of accomplishing diversion by authorizing convicting courts, in lieu of standard sentencing, to commit certain convicted defendants to mental health programs. These programs for direct diversion during the dispositional stage of the criminal trial are the subject of the present chapter.


Mental Health System Correctional Institution Jury Trial Civil Commitment Guilty Plea 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • George E. Dix
    • 1
  1. 1.School of LawUniversity of TexasAustinUSA

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