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Mentally Disordered Suspects, Defendants and Offenders - Essay Example

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Case Study A a) Outline the options available to the police in this situation and assess the likelihood of the use of Mental Health Act powers at this stage. Given the situation, the police can arrest Wayne for breach of peace (alternatively “a breach of the Queen’s peace”)…
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Mentally Disordered Suspects, Defendants and Offenders
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Download file to see previous pages As per Bibby v Chief Constable of Essex the court determined that the Constable could arrest a person who could commit an act of violence or could breach the peace (Jerrard, 2000). Under Section 136 of the Mental Health Act a police officer can detain a person who is considered to be mentally disordered. The police officer can remove the person from a public place (such as in this case) and take them to a “place of safety” including a police station or a psychiatric hospital ward. Further assessment can take place in these places in order to implement treatment under Section 2 or Section 3 of the Mental Health Act (Legislation Government of United Kingdom, 2012 a). b) Discuss police obligations in relation to vulnerable detainees, and with reference to research findings, evaluate the possibility of appropriate intervention being made in Wayne’s case. The police are under obligation of Section 136 of the Mental Health Act to go for an assessment as soon as the person is at a “place of safety” which could be either the police station or a psychiatric hospital ward. The assessment is carried out by two doctors, typically a general practitioner (GP) and a psychiatrist as well as an Approved Mental Health Professional (AMHP) such that at least one doctor is a Section 12 approved doctor. The subject assessment may recommend treatment under Section 2 or Section 3 but given the current circumstances the possibility of Section 2 based treatment is high. Section 2 recommends detained treatment for patients who need to be monitored during treatment. Since Wayne has left the treatment system once before so Section 2 is more appropriate1 for ensuring that Wayne undergoes the entire treatment procedure. c) Critically assess the opportunities for diversion at this stage of the criminal justice process. The policemen attending the call for a “drunken homeless person” would have no idea of Wayne’s background unless he is brought to the station for identification. If careful attention is not paid to Wayne’s background as suffering from schizophrenia, there are chances that he would be prosecuted for breach of peace. This would preclude any chances of mental health assessment and would force Wayne into prison for his actions (though this may not be necessary). The eventual consequence of this approach would be that Wayne would be released back into society again without any changes to his persona. The brush with the criminal justice system may make Wayne more violent and thus a greater danger to public safety. Since Wayne is not involved in a serious crime so there are chances that police in more busy precincts may not adopt the complete procedure for mental health assessment. d) What after care provision should be available for Wayne when he is discharged from hospital? And is there any evidence to suggest that this will prevent the recurrence of these events? The Mental Health Act does not provide for community intervention and when it does it is only weakly applicable. The real measure of after care provided by the community is “guardianship” that mandates that the patient will reside at a particular address, will attend a specific clinic regularly and may attend designated workplaces or educational institutions. However, all of this information must be tabulated and followed up after the patient is discharged from the hospital and such follow-up cannot be enforced onto the patient. Section 117 provides that patients who are ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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