To evaluate factors related to dangerousness cessation at the end of involuntary commitment based on an analysis of expert reports. In light of the current legal requirement of dangerousness cessation as a pre-requisite for prison or internment release of individuals subjected to the safety measure, we sought elements to reflect on the practice of expert examiners in charge of making this decision.
The authors revised 224 expert psychiatric dangerousness cessation reports released 2011 through 2014 and collected data for a statistical analysis.
The following variables were associated with positive risk cessation assessments: no inadequate behavior (according to the assistant professionals), no productive psychotic symptoms, no negative symptoms, presence of insight, presence of a support network, and no psychoactive substance abuse. The following variables were associated with negative dangerousness cessation decisions: early onset of malfunction, lack of insight, negative attitudes, active signs of major mental illness, presence of impulsiveness, poor response to treatment, presence of plans lacking feasibility, exposure to destabilizing factors, lack of personal support, and presence of stress.
In this study we were able to identify factors associated with dangerousness in a sample of expert reports. The knowledge of factors linked to a higher risk of recidivism in illegal activities or violent behavior is crucial for decision-making regarding the release of offenders after their legally established period of involuntary commitment.
Keywords: Forensic psychiatry; commitment of the mentally ill; insanity defense; mental disorders; violence