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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 113255 Find in a Library
Title: Criminal Prosecution of the Mentally Disordered: A Descriptive Analysis
Journal: Criminal Justice Review  Volume:12  Issue:1  Dated:(Spring 1987)  Pages:1-12
Author(s): E Hochstedler
Date Published: 1988
Page Count: 11
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: While the mentally disordered defendant has garnered notable attention recently, little empirical research has been conducted in this area.
Abstract: In an attempt to fill this void, the research effort reported here examines prosecutorial and judicial decisions concerning this type of defendant. Emphasis is placed on the postures (punitive or therapeutic) assumed by these court officials, and the impact of various factors on these postures. Data were gathered on all adult criminal defendants identified as mentally disordered by the Milwaukee, Wisconsin Mental Health Screening Unit from 1981 through 1983. The results clearly indicate that criminal justice officials are at least as interested in therapy as they are in punishment. Furthermore, the findings suggest that the court views these defendants as inappropriate subjects for criminal sanctioning, but under certain conditions mandates treatment for individuals who likely would not be subject to such involuntary treatment under civil law. (Author abstract)
Main Term(s): Mentally ill offenders
Index Term(s): Deterrence; Judicial discretion; Mental health services; Prosecutorial discretion; Wisconsin
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