The authors propose a formal statutory diversion process for offenders with serious mental disorders: expedited diversion to court-ordered treatment (EDCOT). As a civil commitment proceeding accompanied by dismissal of criminal charges, EDCOT would not entail a waiver of criminal trial rights and could be invoked even if the defendant lacked trial competence. EDCOT would also be available to authorize civil hospitalization of offenders who are not immediately able to function successfully in the community. These provisions, coupled with mandated compliance with outpatient treatment and judicial supervision, would enable diversion of many, perhaps most, offenders with serious mental disorders into a treatment system that could provide acute services, discharge planning, and problem-solving management in the community.

Steven K. Hoge & Richard J. Bonnie, Expedited Diversion of Criminal Defendants to Court-Ordered Treatment, 49 Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law 517–525 (2021).