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Guilty Except for Insanity (Adults)

Enabling Legislation: ORS 161.295-161.351

When an individual commits a felony and is found by the courts to be Guilty Except for Insanity (GEI), the judge is likely to place the individual under the jurisdiction of the Psychiatric Security Review Board (PSRB). Following the passing of Senate Bill 65 as of July 1, 2018, all individuals found GEI are placed under the PSRB’s jurisdiction for the entirety of their term, regardless of the type of instant offense committed.  Individuals found GEI are placed under the jurisdiction of the Board for the maximum sentence they could have received if found guilty of the crime.  Sentencing guidelines do not apply.
The Psychiatric Security Review Board’s Statutory Functions are:
  • To accept jurisdiction over Guilty Except for Insanity clients
  • To protect the public
  • To balance the public’s concern for safety with the rights of the client
  • To conduct hearings, make findings and issue orders
  • To monitor the progress of each client under its jurisdiction
  • To revoke conditional release if the client violates their terms
  • To maintain a current history on all clients
The Board carries out its functions by conducting hearings and monitoring clients on conditional release. In making decisions, the Board’s primary concern is the protection of the public.

Conditional Release

While under the Board’s jurisdiction, an adult can be committed to the Oregon State Hospital or conditionally released to a lower level of care, ranging from secure residential treatment facilities to independent living.  The Board determines what type of facility is appropriate based on both a clinical and risk assessment, including the level of treatment, care and supervision required by the client.  Conditional release is conferred on a client once the Board determines that he or she can be adequately controlled with supervision and treatment in the community and that the supervision and treatment necessary are available.
The Board assesses readiness for conditional release planning by:

  • Reviewing the exhibit files that contain the reports and evaluations by the client’s providers of various disciplines;
  • Listening to the testimony of all witnesses;
  • Cross examining witnesses to obtain additional information; and
  • Considering the risk to society that the client may pose if returned to the community, using:
    • Clinical judgment of professional staff;
    • Results of psychological testing and risk assessments performed on the client;
    • Recommendations of the Oregon State Hospital’s Risk Review Panel; and
    • The availability of resources in the community to compensate for any residual risk.

When release is appropriate and a verified plan is approved by the Board, the person is ordered released from the state hospital subject to the Board's specific conditions.
These conditions include:
  • An appropriate housing situation;
  • Mental health treatment and supervision;
  • The designation of a person who agrees to report monthly to the Board concerning the released person's progress and who also agrees to notify the Board's director immediately of any violations of the release conditions; and
  • Any other special conditions deemed appropriate and/or necessary such as abstaining from alcohol and drugs or submitting to random drug screen tests.

Revocation of Conditional Release

A change in mental status that causes a client to pose a risk of substantial danger to others or a violation of the terms of conditional release may result in immediate revocation of the release and return to Oregon State Hospital pending a hearing.  Staff typically intervenes before the client becomes a serious risk to the community.
The grounds for revocation include:
  • Violation of the terms of the conditional release plan
  • A change in mental health status
  • Absconding from supervision
  • The appropriate community resources are no longer available
The efficacy of the Board’s decision-making and the ability of those treated and supervised persons to succeed on conditional release is evidenced by the fact that in 2018, 99.43% remained in the community on a monthly basis.