In its narrowest sense, "mentally disordered offender" refers to the approximately twenty thousand persons per year in the United States who are institutionalized as not guilty by reason of insanity, incompetent to stand trial, and mentally disordered sex offenders, as well as those prisoners transferred to mental hospitals. The real importance of mentally disordered offenders, however, may not lie in this figure. Rather, it may reside in the symbolic role that mentally disordered offenders play for the rest of the legal system. The 3,140 persons residing in state institutions on an average day in 1978 as not guilty by reason of insanity (see Chapter 4), for example, are surely worthy of concern in their own right. But they represent only 1% of the 307,276 persons residing in state and federal prisons in the same period (U. S. Dept. of Justice, 1981). From a purely numeric point of view, the insanity defense truly is "much ado about little" (Pasewark & Pasewark, 1982). The central importance of understanding these persons, however, is that they serve a symbolic function in justifying the imprisonment of the other 99%. The insanity defense, as Stone (1975) has noted, is "the exception that proves the rule. " By exculpating a relatively few people from being criminally responsible for their behavior, the law inculpates all other law violators as liable for social sanction.
Managing the Mentally Disordered Offender presses the case for better health care of mentally disturbed law breakers, and the need to divert them from unnecessary imprisonment. Mentally disordered offenders present particular problems in our society, which wants both to sympathise and to punish. How do we get the balance right between sympathy towards their illness and genuine worries about their offending behaviour? What do we do for - and about - people wo have been released from prison yet we suspect continue to pose risks to the safety of others? With specialist contributors from criminology, criminal justice, social work, probation practice and the law, Managing the Mentally Disordered Offender stresses the importance of professional cooperation in community-based services, whilst acknowledgin the psychologically demanding nature of working with mentally disordered people, and ther very real challenges of attempting to contain their wrongdoing without recourse to the repressiveness of imprisonment.
The authors aim to provide practical guidance to enable practitioners in the various criminal justice, health and social care agencies to divert mentally disordered offenders from prosecution and custody and to help prevent re-offending.
The aim of this book is to provide a multidisciplinary perspective on the training needed to work with mentally disordered patients, as well as to examine the key characteristics of the forensic nursing role. Attempting to examine the role of the professional forensic nurse and explore the multi-professional boundaries within mental health.
In recent years mentally disordered offenders have attracted considerable attention in the media and there has been heated public debate as to the best treatment and prevention of re-offending. Simultaneously there has been a significant increase in the amount of research, specialist courses and training devoted to this particular, high profile area of mental health care. This is as a result of considerable public pressure to develop effective theory and practice for diagnosing and treating this patient group.A Sociology of the Mentally Disordered Offender provides a concise, and most importantly, accessible guide to the main theoretical issues from a sociological perspective as a counterbalance to the predominant medical model. Having established a theoretical framework through the exploration of topics such as the relationship between crime and mental disorder the authors look at the processes by which offenders are referred either to criminal justice or the mental health service system, their subsequent treatment and management, and the problem of re-offending. A final chapter looks at ways in which care and management of these patients may be effectively developed in the future.
Drawing on extensive case studies and his experience as director of psychiatric services at the Regional Treatment Centre in Ontario, Geoffrey Conacher traces the MDO management process from initial assessment, through secure stabilization, to preparation for release and subsequent community supervision. He outlines the difficulties of managing a population of serious offenders and highlights elements of treatment that are essential if the MDO is to be reintegrated into the community. Conacher also considers dangerousness, issues of treatment, and forensic aspects of mental disorder, as well as psychiatric concerns that are particular to the prison context, such as ethical issues, predatory sexual behaviour, self-mutilation, suicide, the "inadequate offender," and the predictably dangerous mentally disordered offender. Management of the Mentally Disordered Offender in Prisons makes an important addition to existing psychiatric literature by bringing to the fore a neglected area of tremendous social concern.
First published in 1997, this volume’s purpose is to understand and clarify the nature of implicit theories currently held about the mentally disordered offender by respondents who represent a range of agencies: the general lay population, Criminal Justice, Mental Health and Social Services. The significance of this research rests on the premise that a greater understanding of professional and lay perspectives towards the mentally ill offender will help elucidate conflicting assumptions between agencies which, by their very nature, may be seriously disrupting the effective implementation of a number of key criminological and clinical policy initiatives involving the care and management of the mentally ill. In particular, consideration is given to the impact such ideological differences may have with regard to the establishment of community-based psychiatric care programmes, the policy of diverting mentally ill offenders away from the Criminal Justice System and into care by Health and Social Services, and the need to strengthen inter-agency co-operation.
This book provides a comprehensive, introductory guide to the criminal justice system. It outlines the basic elements of criminal law, and the various agencies of the system, and includes study exercises and review questions.