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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 64936 Find in a Library
Title: DISPOSITION OF MENTALLY ILL OFFENDERS
Journal: PRISON JOURNAL  Volume:48  Issue:1  Dated:(SPRING/SUMMER)  Pages:24-33
Author(s): E B GUY; M S HELLER; S POLSKY
Corporate Author: Pennsylvania Prison Soc
United States of America
Date Published: 1969
Page Count: 10
Sponsoring Agency: Pennsylvania Prison Soc
Philadelphia, PA 19130
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: MENTALLY ILL OFFENDERS MUST BE HANDLED SKILLFULLY AND EXPEDITIOUSLY AT ALL LEVELS OF THE LEGAL PROCESS. PSYCHIATRIC DIAGNOSIS AND TREATMENT MUST BE INTEGRATED WITH JUDICIARY DISPOSITION.
Abstract: CRIMINAL LAWS REGARDING THE MENTALLY ILL SHOULD BE CLEAR AND CONCISE, AND THE NECESSARY DIAGNOSTIC AND TREATMENT FACILITIES MUST BE AVAILABLE. ATTEMPTS TO IMPROVE THE MANAGEMENT OF MENTALLY ILL OFFENDERS MUST INVOLVE MORE EFFICIENT UTILIZATION OF EXISTING PERSONNEL AND FACILITIES; THE PSYCHIATRIC PROFESSION AND FACILITIES ARE CURRENTLY NOT EQUIPPED TO DEAL WITH THE LEGAL ASPECTS OF MENTALLY ILL OFFENDERS WHO REQUIRE MAXIMUM SECURITY AND SPECIAL HANDLING. MENTAL HEALTH AND MENTAL RETARDATION LEGISLATION DEALING WITH THE DISPOSITION OF SUCH OFFENDERS POSES PROBLEMS BOTH ON STATE AND NATIONAL LEVELS. SUCH LEGISLATIVE ACTS ARE DESIGNED FOR CIVIL, NOT CRIMINAL COMMITMENT, AND REPRESENT A NORMATIVE AND ADMINISTRATIVE CONVENIENCE RATHER THAN AN OPERATIVE REALITY. PROTECTION OF THE INDIVIDUAL'S CIVIL RIGHTS, INCLUDING DUE PROCESS AND THE DETERMINATION OF THE OFFENDER'S STATE OF MIND, IS UNEVEN SINCE BASIC PROTECTIONS ARE SOMETIMES NOT SPELLED OUT FOR CIVIL COMMITMENT. MOREOVER, COMMITMENT IN LIEU OF SENTENCE TENDS TO RESULT IN COMMITMENT FOR A SPECIFIC NUMBER OF YEARS RATHER THAN FOR A PERIOD THERAPEUTICALLY NECESSARY, THUS HANDICAPPING MENTAL HEALTH FACILITIES. IN DEALING WITH MENTALLY ILL OFFENDERS, THE RESPONSIBLE PERSONS IN THE LEGAL PROCESS RANGE FROM THE ARRESTING POLICE OFFICERS THROUGH THE COURTS AND CORRECTIONAL INSTITUTIONS TO THE POSTRELEASE PROBATION OR PAROLE DEPARTMENTS. DESPITE DIFFERENCES IN TRAINING AND EXPERIENCE, ALL MUST ADDRESS THEMSELVES TO BOTH THE LEGAL AND PSYCHIATRIC COMPONENTS OF EACH CASE. FOUR FLOW CHARTS REPRESENT DIAGRAMATICALLY THE INTEGRATION OF THE LEGAL AND MEDICAL-PSYCHIATRIC COMPONENTS OF A CASE AS IT PROCEEDS THROUGH THE VARIOUS COURT PROCEEDINGS AND CORRECTIONAL INSTITUTIONAL STEPS.
Index Term(s): Citizen prosecution initiation; Civil commitment; Competency to stand trial; Criminal proceedings; Federal Code; Mental health services; Mentally ill offenders; Psychiatric services; Right to treatment; State laws
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=64936

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