Criminal Justice Section Standards

Mental Health

MENTAL HEALTH

In August 1984, the ABA approved a set of 96 “black letter” standards on mental health. Additional “black letter” standards were approved in August 1987 and August 1988. All are included with accompanying commentary in a publication entitled ABA Criminal Justice Mental Health Standards, © 1986, 1989, American Bar Association.

  • For the text of the publication, click HERE .
  • To go directly to individual “black letter” standards (without commentary), click on the links below.
  • For subsequent revisions, related ABA resolutions or Standards, click HERE.
  • For information about purchasing the printed volume, please click HERE .


PART I. MENTAL HEALTH, MENTAL RETARDATION,AND CRIMINAL JUSTICE: GENERAL PROFESSIONAL OBLIGATIONS

Standard 7-1.1 Roles of mental health and mental retardation professionals in the criminal process
Standard 7-1.2 Joint professional obligations for improving the administration of justice in criminal cases involving mental health or mental retardation issues
Standard 7-1.3 Education and training
PART II. POLICE AND CUSTODIAL ROLES
Standard 7-2.1 Classes of mentally ill and mentally retarded persons subject to police emergency detention
Standard 7-2.2 Development of joint policy admitting persons detained by police for mental evaluation
Standard 7-2.3 Policy preference for voluntary police disposition
Standard 7-2.4 Use of force in mental health emergency interventions
Standard 7-2.5 Custodial processing of mentally ill or mentally retarded persons
Standard 7-2.6 Postarrest obligations of police and custodial personnel
Standard 7-2.7 Treatment or habilitation of detainees; voluntary and involuntary transfer; notice to counsel
Standard 7-2.8 Specialized training
Standard 7-2.9 Police and custodial records of contacts with mentally ill or mentally retarded persons
PART III. PRETRIAL EVALUATIONS AND EXPERT TESTIMONY
Standard 7-3.1 Authority to obtain mental evaluations
Standard 7-3.2 Uses of disclosures or opinions derived from pretrial mental evaluations
Standard 7-3.3 Evaluations initiated by defense
Standard 7-3.4 Court-ordered evaluations upon prosecution request
Standard 7-3.5 Procedures for initiating mental evaluations
Standard 7-3.6 Procedures for conducting mental evaluations
Standard 7-3.7 Preparation and contents of written reports of mental evaluations
Standard 7-3.8 Discovery of written reports
Standard 7-3.9 Admissibility of expert testimony concerning a person's mental condition or behavior
Standard 7-3.10 Evaluations of a person's mental condition: qualifications for court appointed evaluators
Standard 7-3.11 Expert witnesses: qualifications for testifying about a person's mental condition
Standard 7-3.12 Establishing minimum professional education and clinical training requirements for evaluators and expert witnesses; recommended requirements
Standard 7-3.13 Expert witnesses: qualifications for testifying on issues of present scientific or clinical knowledge
Standard 7-3.14 Presentation of expert testimony
Standard 7-3.15 Jury instructions
PART IV. COMPETENCE TO STAND TRIAL
Standard 7-4.1 Mental incompetence to stand trial; rules and definitions
Standard 7-4.2 Responsibility for raising the issue of incompetence to stand trial
Standard 7-4.3 Pretrial release of a defendant pending competence examination
Standard 7-4.4 Judicial order for competence evaluation
Standard 7-4.5 Report of evaluator
Standard 7-4.6 Use of reports; defendant remaining mute
Standard 7-4.7 Necessity for hearing on competence to stand trial
Standard 7-4.8 Hearing on competence; defendant's rights, evidence, and priority of issues
Standard 7-4.9 Hearing on competence; dispositional issues
Standard 7-4.10 Right to treatment or habilitation and to refuse
Standard 7-4.11 Periodic redetermination of incompetence
Standard 7-4.12 Defense motions; proceedings while defendant remains incompetent
Standard 7-4.13 Disposition of permanently incompetent defendants
Standard 7-4.14 Trial of defendants on medication
Standard 7-4.15 Credit for time served
PART V. COMPETENCE ON OTHER ISSUES
Standard 7-5.1 Mental competence to plead guilty or nolo contendere
Standard 7-5.2 Competence at time of sentence: noncapital cases
Standard 7-5.3 Competence to waive counsel and to proceed without assistance of counsel
Standard 7-5.4 Mental incompetence at time of noncapital appeal
ADDITION TO PART V. COMPETENCE AND CAPITAL PUNISHMENT
Standard 7-5.5 Postconviction determination of mental competence in capital cases
Standard 7-5.6 Currently incompetent condemned convicts; stay of execution
Standard 7-5.7 Evaluation and adjudication of competence to be executed; stay of execution; restoration of competence
ADDITION TO PART V. COMPETENCE AND CONFESSIONS
Standard 7-5.8 Statements by mentally ill or mentally retarded persons
Standard 7-5.9 Waiver of rights by mentally ill or mentally retarded persons
Standard 7-5.10 Expert testimony
PART VI. NONRESPONSIBILITY FOR CRIME
Standard 7-6.1 The defense of mental nonresponsibility [insanity]
Standard 7-6.2 Admissibility of other evidence of mental condition
Standard 7-6.3 Notice of defense based on mental condition
Standard 7-6.4 Prosecution-initiated examination to determine mental condition
Standard 7-6.5 Prosecution's duty to disclose
Standard 7-6.6 Limitation on opinion testimony concerning mental condition
Standard 7-6.7 A unitary trial
Standard 7-6.8 Instruction to the jury
Standard 7-6.9 Burden of production and burden of persuasion
Standard 7-6.10 Forms of verdict
PART VII. COMMITMENT OF NONRESPONSIBILITY ACQUITTEES
Standard 7-7.1 Commitment hearing following mental nonresponsibility [insanity] acquittal
Standard 7-7.2 Evaluation
Standard 7-7.3 Commitment procedures; general and special
Standard 7-7.4 Special procedures; commitment criteria
Standard 7-7.5 Special commitment hearings
Standard 7-7.6 Special commitment; conditions of confinement
Standard 7-7.7 Special commitment; maximum duration of commitment order
Standard 7-7.8 Special commitment; periodic judicial review
Standard 7-7.9 Special commitment; superintendent's petition for acquittee's release
Standard 7-7.10 Special commitment; notification of release
Standard 7-7.11 Special commitment; authorized leave
PART VIII. SPECIAL DISPOSITIONAL STATUTES
Standard 7-8.1 Repeal of psychopath statutes
PART IX. SENTENCING MENTALLY ILL AND MENTALLY RETARDED OFFENDERS
Standard 7-9.1 Definitions
Standard 7-9.2 Probation
Standard 7-9.3 Sentencing effect of mental illness or mental retardation
Standard 7-9.4 Assistance of experts during sentencing
Standard 7-9.5 Inadmissibility of expert testimony based on competency evaluation
Standard 7-9.6 Inadmissibility of expert testimony based on pretrial evaluation
Standard 7-9.7 Treatment for mentally ill and mentally retarded offenders sentenced to imprisonment
Standard 7-9.8 Commitment of severely mentally ill and seriously mentally retarded offenders
Standard 7-9.9 Commitment hearing procedures
Standard 7-9.10 Disposition of offenders
Standard 7-9.11 Right to treatment and habilitation; limitation on access into community
Standard 7-9.12 Right of offender to refuse treatment
Standard 7-9.13 Periodic review of the need for commitment
Standard 7-9.14 Transfer to correctional facility
Standard 7-9.15 Good time credits and parole
Standard 7-9.16 Procedure when sentence expires
PART X. MENTALLY ILL AND MENTALLY RETARDED PRISONERS
Standard 7-10.1 Definitions
Standard 7-10.2 Mental health or mental retardation care for prisoners
Standard 7-10.3 Voluntary transfer to mental health or mental retardation facility
Standard 7-10.4 Rejection of voluntary transfer application; court-ordered transfer to mental health or mental retardation facility
Standard 7-10.5 Involuntary transfer
Standard 7-10.6 Periodic review of the need for commitment
Standard 7-10.7 Emergency transfer to mental health or mental retardation facility
Standard 7-10.8 Rights of transferred or committed prisoners
Standard 7-10.9 Right of prisoner to refuse treatment or habilitation
Standard 7-10.10 Good time credits and parole
Standard 7-10.11 Return to correctional facility
Standard 7-10.12 Civil commitment at expiration of sentence

Return to listing of Criminal Justice Standards

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