Historical recidivism rates of Alberta’s not criminally responsible population

Kayla Richer, Jeremy Cheng, Andrew M. Haag


In Canada, public safety is a paramount concern for the provincial Review Boards that oversee individuals found to be Not Criminally Responsible on Account of Mental Disorder (NCR). There is limited research on recidivism rates for NCR populations to assist public policy and institutional practices. In response to this gap, the authors examined the recidivism characteristics of the population of NCR individuals who have passed under the Review Board of Alberta, Canada. The maximum follow-up period was 35 years and included 528 cases between October 1941 and December 2015. Results indicated that the overall general recidivism rate of NCR individuals was 19.7% (convictions). Of this percentage, 4.6% received a major violent conviction, 12.6% received a violent conviction, and 0.75% received a sexual conviction. The presence of a mood or psychotic disorder resulted in a slightly lower likelihood for recidivism, whereas longer criminal histories led to a greater likelihood of recidivism. The findings are discussed for their implications on forensic practice.


The Alberta NCR project; not criminally responsible; recidivism; forensic mental health; mental disorder; violence; NCR

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.35502/jcswb.50


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ISSN: 2371-4298 (Online)