What Care for the Criminally Insane Can Teach Us


In this piece for The Pew Charitable Trusts, Michael Ollove reports on Oregon’s model of intense care and supervision for those found guilty except for insanity.

“Oregon’s model of intense care and supervision is not cheap: Caring for a patient at the Oregon State Hospital costs between $383,000 and $437,000 annually, according to the Oregon Health Authority. Conditional release supervision costs between $30,000 and $157,000 a year.

It has, however, yielded impressive results. Over the past five years, the rate of recidivism for those on conditional release in Oregon after a verdict of criminal insanity is 0.47 percent. By comparison, one report put the recidivism rate among all Oregon ex-inmates, whether mentally ill or not, at about 18 percent.”