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Archive for the ‘Mental Illness’ Category

Continued Call for Treatment of Mentally Ill in the Criminal Justice System

November 6th, 2014 at 1:27 pm

Illionois prisons, Illinois criminal defense attorney, mental health treatment, The continued imprisonment coupled with lack of treatment of some criminal defendants who suffer from a mental illness continues to be a problem in the state of Illinois and across the country. The issue of the mentally in in the criminal justice system has been getting media attention recently, and with good reason. In fact, this firm has featured several blog posts concerning this topic in the recent past. Now, there is a renewed call for additional treatment of inmates with serious mental illnesses. According to a recent report, new research is bolstering the argument for treatment even further.

More than Mental Health Services

The report finds that in order to appropriately respond to the high number of mentally ill in the criminal justice system, the system needs to offer more by the way of treatment than just mental health services. The need for mental health treatment within the context of the criminal justice system stems largely from the fact that there is a relatively high number of defendants who suffer from such illnesses, some very serious, and this results in the justice system being the largest provider of treatment in the U.S. despite the fact that it is not equipped for the task.

Researchers are saying that the idea that untreated symptoms of mental illness cause criminal behavior may not be true. They are calling for new interventions for people with serious mental illnesses, beyond treatment courts and diversionary programs that have been developed and implemented over the last couple of decades. These efforts would specifically be aimed at those involved in any aspect of the criminal justice system who suffer from more serious conditions, as research has shown many of the same risk factors apply to them as to people who do not suffer from such conditions.

Potent Interventions

These researchers recently completed a study and published their findings in the International Journal of Law and Psychiatry. The study calls for more potent interventions for those who are mentally ill in the criminal justice system. This will include effective and accessible mental health treatment in addition to an understanding of the additional factors that place such a person at risk for criminal behavior. That way, certain risk factors can be identified as modifiable through intervention.

Risk factors identified by the researchers for criminal involvement in addition to mental illness included antisocial behavior, a tendency for criminal thinking, substance abuse and addiction, and exposure to trauma. Additional factors that come into play for these criminal defendant is whether they are unemployed or homeless. It is not uncommon for those in these situations to act out in response to stress, as they usually do not have good coping skills or support systems.

Criminal Defense Attorney

Overall, one of the main points of the study was that attributing criminal behavior solely to mental illness is an oversimplification of the problem and additional factors must be taken into account for an effective solution. Criminal behavior can often be attributed to a number of factors. If you have been charged with a crime, do not hesitate to seek the representation of an experienced Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney. Contact the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley today for a consultation about your matter.

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