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The Mentally Disturbed: To Jail or Not to Jail - Research Paper Example

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Insert name Name of institution Name of professor Date The Mentally Disturbed: To Jail or Not to Jail Mental Illness and violence seem to go hand in hand and as witnessed in the recent Aurora and Sandy Hook shootings. This problem can be traced back to the Columbine shootings and further beyond…
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The Mentally Disturbed: To Jail or Not to Jail

Download file to see previous pages... NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) defines mental illnesses as medical conditions that disrupt a person's thinking, feeling, mood, ability to relate to others and daily functioning. Mental illnesses are medical conditions that often result in a diminished capacity for coping with the ordinary demands of life. An article by Columbia University tries to examine the relationship between different types of mental disorders and related crimes resulting from these. The article concludes by affirming that diminished accountability had the strongest relationship with psychotic disorders. By analyzing the murders committed at Columbine, VA Tech and Sandy Hook I will prove that those suffering from severe psychotic disorders are the main culprits in mental ill crimes. Also according to this article I will prove my findings that more often than not, patients suffering from mental disorders are more often convicted for crimes than the general population (Wallace et al.; Arseneault et al.; Brennan et al.; Walsh et al.). Other mental disorders such as bipolar are not in themselves psychotic but can be rated as cases of severe mania. The most fundamental questions that everyone should ask himself or herself is, why the mentally disturbed such a concern for the jail population? Whether the mentally ill are even safe in jail or not? Why are jails actually used as mental hospitals? By analyzing the Columbine, VA Tech and Sandy Hook shootings and the mental illnesses from which the killers suffered in relation to the jail system in general, (American Psychiatric Association) conclude that that mentally ill/disturbed people who commit crimes should not be put in jail but in facilities that can help them better function in the society. Sexual and drug related offenses are the most common crimes that are committed by the psychotics (Bonner). As Cohen notes, the serious crimes committed by this lot are facilitated by the need to get money for drugs or forced sex either with the opposite gender or with the same gender while under the influence of drugs (Cohen). This is because the psychotic condition is often characterized by a limited ability to make cognitive decisions on various important issues relating to life and proper behavioral characteristics (Barr). There is always an absence of accountability for the various criminal offenses committed by the psychotics while under the influence of a mental disorder. The Dutch’s court classifies the level of responsibility in mental disorder offenders based on three meter levels as complete responsibility, slightly diminished, diminished, severely diminished or absence of responsibility (Grob). Complete responsibility according to this indicator is defined to refer to an occasion where the commission of the offense is not in any way related to the mental disorder the person could be suffering from or the offender has been found to have committed the offense while in his or her right mind. Absence of accountability on the other hand is far much related to the influence of drugs under which the offender committed the crimes indicated. Most studies carried out in relation to this matter often drive to an almost unanimous agreement linking the various offenses committed by psychotics to be associated with a total lack of accountability on their parts while others try to fake the absence of respon ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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