Mental Health & Law
Alliance for the Mentally Ill
page on criminalization of people with mental illness, with
pages for their platform about criminal
justice issues and legal
Public Information Site
Information Institute at Cornell University mental health law page
gives an overview of legal standards and constitutional precedent.
Ultimate Forensic Psychology Database provides links in forensic
psychology and psychiatry, behavioral profiling, and other mental health
Links, information, and resources for students and teachers of
on Schizophrenia page contains several
articles on the topic of schizophrenia and shizophreniform disorders
Psychoanalysis helps explain the background of this idea. Interested
readers can also visit the psychoanalysis
links page or the Psychiatric
Times list of topics.
Legal System Struggles With Dementia Patients
(Washington Post, July 28, 2003; Page A01)
The wrenching problem is becoming more common as the number of seniors -- and those with dementia -- rises: People with Alzheimer's disease and other forms of mental deterioration are increasingly getting entangled with law enforcement. That has police, prosecutors, judges, psychiatric workers and caregivers struggling to balance the humane treatment of a vulnerable but volatile segment of the populace against the need to protect the public.
"It's a problem, and a problem that's only going to grow," said Max B. Rothman, executive director of the Center on Aging at Florida International University in Miami. "As the baby boomers age, it's going to become an even bigger problem."
Echoing a long-running debate over the mentally ill and disabled, the matter also is raising thorny issues about how to determine when people in the throes of slow mental decline are no longer culpable for their actions. The difficult question, said Jonathan Turley, a George Washington University law professor, is often, "At what stage of the disease is the individual? Most of these diseases are fairly long-running and go from mild conditions to obviously quite severe conditions."