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Effect of a Guilty Except for Insanity Plea

Initial Placement

When an adult commits a felony and is found by the courts to be Guilty Except for Insanity (GEI), the judge places the individual under the jurisdiction of the Oregon Psychiatric Security Review Board (PSRB). Following the passage of Senate Bill 65 as of July 1, 2018, all individuals found GEI are placed under the PSRB's jurisdiction.
Typically, individuals found GEI are placed under the Board's jurisdiction for the maximum period for which they could have been sentenced if found guilty of the crime. Sentencing guidelines do not apply to GEI.
The Psychiatric Security Review Board's statutory functions are to:
  • Accept jurisdiction over Guilty Except for Insanity clients
  • Protect the public
  • Balance the public's concern for safety with the rights of the client
  • Conduct hearings, make findings and issue orders
  • Monitor the progress of each client under its jurisdiction
  • Revoke conditional release if the client violates their terms
  • Maintain a current history on all clients
The Board carries out its functions by conducting hearings and monitoring clients on conditional release. In all of its 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 the community, at levels 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 the client requires. Clients are eligible for conditional release once the Board determines that he or she can be adequately controlled with supervision and treatment in the community and that the necessary supervision and treatment 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 the Board approves a verified plan, 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.

Conditional Release Revocation

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 a client's conditional release and return to Oregon State Hospital pending a hearing. Typically, staff intervenes before the client becomes a serious risk to the community.
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
Supporting the efficacy of the Board’s decision-making and the ability of those treated and supervised persons to succeed on conditional release is the fact that in 2012, 99.08% of conditionally released clients remained in the community on a monthly basis.