Are the Laws Regarding Mentally Disordered Offenders Adequate?

5365 WordsFeb 10, 201322 Pages
Are the laws and services related to mentally disordered offenders adequate and appropriate? Care and treatment for the Mentally Disordered Offender (MDO) has always reflected society’s intolerance and punitive attitude, typified by a desire to remove persons with mental illness from public sight (Gostin, 1983). Traditionally, health care for this population was provided in institutions until the 1950s. De-institutionalisation and large-scale closures of psychiatric institutes in the 1980s resulted from therapeutic advancement and the advent of psychotropic medication, which in turn led to a need to provide care and treatment in the least restrictive setting (Geller et al, 2006 ; Morrow e al 2003). Many patients were discharged,…show more content…
An RC discharging an MDO on a CTO has to believe that the patient has a mental disorder and that it is appropriate for them to receive medical treatment. They also have to believe that subject to the patient being on SCT, such treatment could safely be given in the community. In turn, there are mandatory conditions that need adhering to by someone placed on a CTO. These include seeing the RC whenever required, to allow the decision whether the CTO requires renewal. The patient also has to see another doctor (Second Appointed Opinion Doctor, {SAOD}) when there is a need to authorise certain types of treatment, for instance, medication. Other conditions to ensure the MDO remains safe and well in the community include: medication concordance, attending a health centre or place of education and seeing their Psychiatrist or Care Co-ordinator. Supervised Community Treatment orders, under Section 17A of the Act, provide the power to recall a patient to hospital if a specified treatment regime is not being adhered to (Gould, 2008). However, treatment cannot be enforced in the community. O’Reilly, 2004, contends that the dichotomy of the usefulness of CTOs has been a subject of controversy and years of conflict from patients, mental health charities, psychiatrists and the civil rights lobbyists. One reason for this polarisation stems from the concerns of the public and their perception that MDOs are dangerous and

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