Medical school forensic psychiatry units in health care delivery facilities rather than criminal justice institutions: an alternative model.
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We have presented a model for developing forensic psychiatric treatment and teaching services of a medical school Department of Psychiatry, but where these services are the basic comprehensive health care delivery system for the entire community. These offer consultative and treatment services for adult and family court clinic, psychiatric forensic services, of forensic psychiatry open bed and medium security-type bed, as well as day hospital and outpatient services. All of these are sited in the normal health care delivery system of the university teaching hospitals and its patient treatment, teaching, and research facilities. Consultative services are offered on request to the criminal justice system, but the basic health care delivery system is controlled administratively by the ordinary university teaching hospital authorities and exists as a one of a kind unit at the Royal Ottawa Hospital. The Royal Ottawa Hospital is a private nonprofit hospital, with its own Board of Trustees, and is affiliated with the medical school, as part of a major university network. We believe it important to present this model for an overall forensic psychiatric service, in contradistinction to the more commonly established forensic psychiatric facilities in state mental hospitals, in a special facility for the criminally insane, or in a criminal justice system institution such as a penitentiary. We believe that our model for forensic psychiatric facilities has great advantages for the patient. Here the patient is treated in a specialized facility (as all psychiatric patients with specialized problems should be); but one which is a specialized forensic facility, within the range of specialized psychiatric facilities that are needed by an urban community.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)