The basis for California's sexual psychopath program is the legal provision which establishes a state hospital as an alternative to prison for certain nonpsychotic, convicted offenders, legally defined as sexual psychopaths. The designated institution is the Atascadero State Hospital, a new facility opened in June, 1954. Its 1250 all male patient population is about sixty percent sexual psychopaths and forty percent criminal insane. This preponderance of non-psychotic patients is unique for a state hospital for the mentally ill, where, as a rule, about ninety percent of the patients are psychotic. My purpose is to discuss our program and procedures for the sexual psychopaths as implemented by the work of the hospital, to explain the rationale of this approach and to demonstrate the importance of a strict rule for criminal responsibility for its success.


Psychiatry and Law (A Symposium)