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Forensic Mental Health - Coursework Example

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"Forensic Mental Health" paper states that two emerging trends affecting people with mental illness. The 1st trend is using the criminal justice system to give the community greater protection from 'dangerous' mentally ill offenders. The w2nd trend is toward making legal processes more therapeutic…
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Extract of sample "Forensic Mental Health"

Download file to see previous pages In contemporary society, we do have a moral obligation to treat everyone who enters the criminal justice system fairly. However, there are two aspects of this argument that seem to be developing. On the other hand, someone who does not have control of themselves because of mental illness may need to be seen differently than what has been set for "normal" criminals. The literature points in both directions and this can be a difficult call when people are actually entering the system.

In the current literature, the current criminal justice system has specific ideas of what should be done when an individual commits a crime. As an example, Carvan (1999) poses a question in a case study that is pertinent to the shit study. In the case of murder, he asks, "should there be different degrees of murder? Should one type of murder have a different penalty than another?" (p. 3). When dealing with mental illness the answer to this question should be "yes" because they are not the same type of criminal as the general population. One challenge with these issues thought is that there are many different perceptions of any law. Carvana suggests that there are basically two types of laws which include natural law and positivism. Natural law is what most people want to do and it is based on moral codes and is more geared toward "human" law. The positivism believes more directly in the specifics of the law and the statutes. In one respect, the question of how to treat mentally ill offenders could be looked at through the eyes of human law in that the mentally ill have rights under the laws and should be treated accordingly. On the other hand, legal positivism would suggest that the mentally ill would not be "protected" under the law any differently than anyone else because they are criminals.

Hughes and Leane (1990) suggest that "the law appears to be, and claims to be, neutral; but it actually appeals more to those who have wealth and power and there is an underlying social order that is "fundamentally unjust" (p. 23). ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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