Describing the not criminally responsible population in Alberta’s history: Sociodemographic, mental health, and criminological profiles

Andrew M. Haag, Jeremy Cheng, Robi Wirove


This is the first paper to look at the entire population of those found Not Criminally Responsible on Account of Mental Disorder (NCR) in Alberta, Canada. The Alberta NCR Project examined longitudinal data from the NCR population to describe sociodemographic, mental health, and criminological profiles. Data were collected for the period of 1941 (i.e., the first known case in Alberta) to October 15, 2015, using archived patient chart information. The majority of Alberta NCRs have not completed high school, are diagnosed with some form of psychosis, and were found by the court to be NCR due to a violent crime. The Alberta NCR population has grown by an average of seven NCR accused per year and, of those who have reached absolute discharge, each person spent an average of 5.7 years under the Alberta Review Board (the provincial body that oversees those found NCR). Those who committed a homicide had significantly longer hospitalizations than those under every other crime category, except attempted homicide.


Not criminally responsible; the Alberta NCR project; demographics; forensic mental health; violence; mental disorder

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ISSN: 2371-4298 (Online)