This CA program closely monitors former psychiatric patients, leaving them in oppressive legal limbo

Californians in the CONREP program deal with extreme surveillance over their daily lives. "They are checking in with their treatment team constantly. They might have to introduce a new friend, or even hand over their cell phone to allow them to read all their text messages," Thompson said. Photo by Xiao Hua Yang for The Marshall Project.

When a person is convicted of committing a violent crime, they typically do prison time and then get released. But if that person is found not guilty by reason of insanity, their future becomes a lot murkier. Many are sentenced to a psychiatric hospital indefinitely. If they are released, they can spend decades stuck in a state outpatient program that controls every aspect of their lives, from where they live to who they date. That program is the subject of a new investigation from The Marshall Project and the LA Times.