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Court Systems

The article looks at a number of mental health services provided by a number of mental health courts in various counties in different states. For example, the specific mental health services offered by the Marion County in Indiana, Broward County in Florida, Alaska’s Anchorage and King County of Washington. The article then discusses the various issues that would ensure a successful implementation of mental health courts.

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Such issues as due process, resource control and availability of the services will have to be addressed first.

These authors are right with their insightful argument on what would work best for different groups of populations. In their analysis, they contend that some models of mental health courts would only be appropriate for small cities, suburban or rural populations. However, as they advocate for mental health services appropriate for the mentally ill offenders, they do not take into account the attainment of justice and do not talk about the role of the victim(s) in the rehabilitation process.

From their point of view, it is clear that the authors were clearly biased and argued their case from the mentally ill offenders’ position. Sex Offender Commitment Law Rued Unconstitutional (Daly, R. March 2009). The author reports on the federal appellate court’s decision to overturn the ruling that requires sexual offenders to be subjected to prolonged civil commitment beyond their jail terms. The author then presents the opinion of the APA committee on the issue.

The committee concurred with the court’s decision terming the subjection of sexual offenders to civil commitment as lacking in treatment but rather turns psychiatrists into jailers. This report is quite comprehensive because the author does not only present the history of this law but also presents the professional’s opinion and solution to this controversial issue in the criminal justice system. The author seeks neutrality in his reporting and only presents events and opinions of others.

However, he fails to provide accounts and cases where the law has been successful in reducing recidivism in sex offenders. Readers of this report may get the impression that the law is totally wrong and incarcerating to the prisoners and therefore do not serve to rehabilitate and reintegrate offenders into the community. Reference Daly, R. (March, 2009). Sex-Offender Commitment Law Ruled Unconstitutional, Psychiatric News, Vol. 44(5):11 Watson, A. Hanrahan, P. Luchins, D. & Lurigio, A. (April, 2001). Mental Health Courts and the Complex Issue of Mentally Ill Offenders, Psychiatric Services, Vol. 52:477-481.