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Public Safety and Human Rights - Book Report/Review Example

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In 1999, the Home office released a white paper that created momentous controversy. Entitled, Managing dangerous people with severe personality disorder: Proposals for policy development, this paper described the problems created by people who perpetrate sickening acts of violence on unwitting members of society…
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Public Safety and Human Rights
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"Public Safety and Human Rights"

Download file to see previous pages Mental health has been up to now ineffective. Most often, these individuals are not usually amenable to mental health care. The types of people who commit such actions are not sent to hospital because they are assessed as unlikely to benefit from treatment. Instead, they are released unsupervised to their communities.
The first idea in the Home Office proposal was to keep dangerous severely personality disordered people incarcerated in prison or hospital until it is safe to release them into the community. The second suggestion in this paper was to use "indeterminate detention" in both civil and criminal proceedings (Home Office, 1999, 3).
This leads to multiple ethical, moral, legal, health, and mental health questions and issues. In society's attempts to process the actions of a minority, there are discussions of mental disorder, definitions, good and evil, responsibility, morality, as well as human rights and whose rights are most important. One overriding issue was chosen for discussion. This paper explains why it is important to decide what discipline, language and constructs are the most adequate for discussing such questions. Further, it is the opinion of this writer that the criminal justice system focus upon responsibility for one's actions is the best frame for thinking about people who commit shocking crimes against others.
As determined by Home Office (1999, 3), "There are estimat...
Over 98% of these people are men, and at any time most are in prison or in secure hospitals. An article in The Practitioner (Pitfalls in detaining the, 2002) asserts that "around ten per cent of the population fulfils ICD10 criteria for personality disorder". The only people with personality disorders that are of issue are the small minority of those that engage in dangerous and severe antisocial behaviour (Home Office, 1999, 3).
Trying to Define the Problem
One major problem in this debate is a serious need for people to decide which discipline or paradigm will frame the conversation. Should it be the field of criminal justice, mental health, public safety, or religion When this is decided, then, a plan to create a dynamic balance between protecting public safety and respecting human rights can be developed. At the same time, this writer endorses an older criminal theory and approach for such crimes. The law of Talion, as discussed in Crews, G. A., Gillespie, W., and Stanko, S. (2004), proposes that the consequences of criminal actions should equal in severity to the damage to the victim. This appears to be the most equitable for such crimes.
In spite of humanity's advances, it is entirely probable that there will always be those who are dangerous predators in society. These actions that stir public passions are the actions that could just as easily be labelled as evil or criminal or insanity (Ruffles, 2004). All societies find ways to contain these risks. Morse (2004) explains that the amount of containment and the manner in which people are contained is dependent upon society's norms, morals and politics. In this case, society has to decide which norm, mores and ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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