In contrast to the 20 or so unfit to plead findings that took place annually over the years ofthe survey, the annual number ofhospital orders issued by the courts over the same years ranged from 700 to 800 (Dell, Grounds, James, & Robertson, 1991). Many more mentally disordered defendants would have been dealt with through conditional discharges, probation orders, prison sentences, and a variety of other disposals, and others would have been diverted from the criminal justice system well before the question of sentencing even arose. Do, therefore, those individuals who travel the unfit to plead route differ in any important respects from the majority of mentally disordered defendants who negotiate the criminal justice system each year?