Incompetency to stand trial and mental health treatment: a case study testing the subversion hypothesis.

E. Hochstedler Steury, M. Choinski and S. R. Steury,
Bull. Amer. Acad. Psychiatry & the Law 24(3): 319-31, 1996.
This study is a test of the so-called subversion hypothesis, which posits that mentally disordered persons who commit minor offenses are prosecuted primarily for the purpose of imposing mental health treatment on them through evaluation and treatment for incompetency to stand trial. These persons, according to the subversion hypothesis, find themselves in the criminal process because they do not meet the stringent civil commitment standards, but do meet the less stringent criteria for a disorderly conduct prosecution. The findings, based on 893 disorderly conduct prosecutions in a single jurisdiction over a two-year period, do not lend general support to the subversion hypothesis.