Title

Predictors of Competency to Stand Trial in Connecticut's Inpatient Juvenile Competency Restoration Program

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

12-2016

Subject: LCSH

Juvenile delinquents, Competency to stand trial

Disciplines

Psychology

Abstract

There are substantial differences between adults and juveniles in the context of competency restoration. Among juveniles, factors such as maturity level, age, intellectual functioning, and psychiatric diagnoses may affect competency to stand trial. In this study, subjects included all juveniles who were admitted to the Albert J. Solnit Children's Center for inpatient competency restoration in the period spanning January 1, 2005, through December 31, 2012. Sixty-one juveniles were referred during this period, and 58 were included in the final analyses. Several demographic and clinical variables were tested to identify which factors were associated with successful competency restoration. There was a high rate of psychiatric comorbidity in the sample, with 54 of 58 juveniles (93%), having more than one Axis I disorder. IQ was the only significant predictor of successful competency restoration. These findings suggest that cognitive limitations may be a robust predictor of competency restoration among juveniles who are deemed incompetent to stand trial. Furthermore, policy makers may want to consider more specialized services for youths whose intellectual deficits are severe enough to impact their ability to regain competency. Limitations of this study, policy recommendations, and suggestions for future research are discussed.

Comments

© 2016 American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law.

Publisher Citation

Chien, J., Coker, K. L., Parke, S., Tejani, N., Sirken, R. A., Sanchez-Jaquez, C., Rausch, F., & Azeem, M. W. (2016). Predictors of Competency to Stand Trial in Connecticut's Inpatient Juvenile Competency Restoration Program. The Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law, 44(4), 451-456.