Encyclopedia of Criminology and Criminal Justice

2014 Edition
| Editors: Gerben Bruinsma, David Weisburd

Mental Health Courts

  • Chrysanthi Leon
  • Kevin Ralston
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-5690-2_201

Synonyms

Overview

Mental health disorders are overrepresented within United States prison systems. Available national statistics show that nearly one quarter of state prisoners had received a clinical diagnosis or treatment within a 12-month period; when prisoners with symptoms of a mental disorder were also included, 56 % of state prisoners were defined as having a mental health problem (James and Glaze 20064). This alarming overrepresentation has been linked to the deinstitutionalization of mental care facilities and the lack of creation of outpatient services to fill the void created by their dismantling. Some of these mentally ill individuals that have fallen through the cracks of the health-care system have instead been swept up by the criminal justice system, in many cases for offenses related to the lack of treatment for their mental illness. Once they become a part of the criminal justice system, these mentally ill individuals often receive...

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Recommended Reading and References

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Sociology and Criminal JusticeUniversity of DelawareNewarkUSA