Mental Health and Crime: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Mental Health and Crime

1st Edition

By Jill Peay


248 pages

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Does mental disorder cause crime? Does crime cause mental disorder? And if either of these could be proved to be true what consequences should stem for those who find themselves deemed mentally disordered offenders? Mental Health and Crime examines the nature of the relationship between mental disorder and crime. It concludes that the broad definition of what is an all too common human condition – mental disorder – and the widespread occurrence of an equally all too common human behaviour – that of offending – would make unlikely any definitive or easy answer to such questions.

For those who offend in the context of mental disorder, many aspects of the criminal justice process, and of the disposals that follow, are adapted to take account of a relationship between mental disorder and crime. But if the very relationship is questionable, is the way in which we deal with such offenders discriminatory? Or is it perhaps to their benefit to be thought of as less responsible for their offending than fully culpable offenders? The book thus explores not only the nature of the relationship, but also the human rights and legal issues arising. It also looks at some of the permutations in the therapeutic process that can ensue when those with mental health problems are treated in the context of their offending behaviour.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1. Mental Health and Crime 2. Crime 3. Mental Disorder 4. Are Mental Disorder and Crime Related? 5. Types of Crime 6. Mental Disorder and Violence 7. Symptoms and Causality 8. Causal Mechanisms, Criminology and Mental Disorder 9. Human Rights and Mentally Disordered Offenders 10. Deprivation of Liberty 11. Mental Disorder and Detention: A Perspective from Prison 12. The Intersection between Penality and Therapeutic Detention: Indeterminate Sentences for Public Protection 13. Medical Treatment: Offenders, Patients and Their Capacity 14. Individual and Personal Consequences: The Case of Smoking 15. Impossible Paradoxes 16. Treatment, Mental Disorder, Crime, Responsibility and Punishment 17. Fitness to Plead 18. Dangerous and Severe Personality Disorder 19. Culpability and Treatment: Chasing Dragons? 20. Conclusions

About the Author

Jill Peay is a Professor of Law at the London School of Economics and Political Science.

About the Series

Contemporary Issues in Public Policy

This series of books is intended to offer accessible, informed and well-evidenced analyses of topical policy issues - from the national health through women’s work to central issues of crime and criminal justice - as a counterweight to the manner in which they tend to be presented in political and public debates. The mass media can be sensationalizing and overly-simple. Many observers and commentators are too engaged politically or professionally to take a dispassionate stand. By contrast, what is offered here is considered expert commentary laid out in a literate and helpful manner. Moreover, in the wake of globalization, the revolution in information technology and new forms of regulation and audit, an immense proliferation of data has occurred which can swamp all but the most experienced and duly skeptical analyst. Providing an excellent core for teaching in social policy, criminology, politics and the sociology of contemporary Britain, the series is also intended for politicians, policy-makers, journalists and other concerned people who wish to know more about the world they live in today.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LAW / General