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Not Criminally Responsible (NCR)

Not Criminally Responsible (NCR) is a court verdict stating that a person has committed an illegal act but, at the time, was suffering from a serious mental illness that rendered him/her incapable of appreciating the nature, quality and consequences of the act. The court’s verdict indicates that the person committed the act, but has determined that he/she is Not Criminally Responsible (NCR) on account of mental illness. A psychiatrist recommends this finding to the court, but it is the judge who makes the final decision.

When a person is found NCR, he/she will be referred to the Ontario Review Board (ORB) and ordered to a forensic unit of a mental health facility. The ORB will schedule an initial hearing within 45 days if the court has not made a Disposition or 90 days if the court has made a Disposition.

If the individual does not understand the nature or consequences of court proceedings, is not able to instruct a lawyer before or during court proceedings, and is suffering from a mental illness, the court may find the individual Unfit to Stand Trial. In this case, the individual will be ordered to a mental health facility.

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