Mental Health Court Case Analysis

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I. Problem Failure to provide successful treatment alternatives to the deinstitutionalization of the mentally ill and the unequal opportunity to receive proper mental health care treatment in the U.S has resulted in the overrepresentation of the mentally ill in U.S jails and prisons. Mental health courts have shown they reduce recidivism, long term treatment plans over incarceration, as sentenced by traditional criminal courts is a clear step in the right direction. (National Alliance on Mental Illness, 2008)The expansion and creation of more mental health courts in necessary. However, there is need for improvements in the innovation to better serve their clients ethically and effectively. II. Evidence A. The need for mental health …show more content…

Mental health courts have issues that need to be addressed, these issues include : • Informal selection criteria: A research study conducted by Nancy Wolff, Nichole Fabrikant and Steven Belenko (2011) suggest that clients selected by mental health courts are shaped by the formal and informal selection criteria” (Wolff, Fabrikant, Belenko, 2011,p. 402) • Voluntariness/Requirements: A research study conducted by Allison Redlich, Steven Hoover, Alicia Summers and Henry ( 2010) conducted a research study a found that a significant number of mental health court clients were not informed of the requirements for mental health courts or that they were voluntary (Redlich, Hoover, Summers & Steadman, 2010) • Guilty Plea: The majority of mental health courts require a guilty plea, therefore, the clients are convicted. Being convicted of a crime has collateral consequences. (McAleer, 2010) Collateral consequences may occur such as limitation of employment opportunities, access to public housing, disenfranchisement, elimination of welfare benefits and eligibility for financial aid. (The Sentencing Project, 2015) • Forced Medication: Although mental health courts are voluntary, and offenders are likely to benefit from medication, it is not ethical to force offenders to take medication against their will. (McAleer,

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