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Unformatted text preview: Psychiatric Quarterly, Vol. 75, No. 2, Summer 2004 ( C 2004) MENTALLY ILL PERSONS IN THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM: SOME PERSPECTIVES H. Richard Lamb, M.D., Linda E. Weinberger, Ph.D., and Bruce H. Gross, J.D., Ph.D. There is an increasing number of severely mentally ill persons in the criminal justice system. This article first discusses the criminalization of persons with severe mental illness and its causes, the role of the police and mental health, and the treatment of mentally ill offenders and its difficulties. The authors then offer recommendations to reduce criminalization by increased coordina- tion between police and mental health professionals, to increase mental health training for police officers, to enhance mental health services after arrest, and to develop more and better community treatment of mentally ill offenders. The necessary components of such treatment are having a treatment philosophy of both theory and practice; having clear goals of treatment; establishing a close H. Richard Lamb, M.D., is a Professor of Psychiatry, and Director of Division of Men- tal Health Policy and Law, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA. Linda E. Weinberger, Ph.D., is a Professor of Clinical Psychiatry, and Chief Psychol- ogist of Institute of Psychiatry, Law and Behavioral Sciences, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA. Bruce H. Gross, J.D., Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of Psychiatry, and Director of Institute of Psychiatry, Law and Behavioral Sciences, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA. Address correspondence to H. Richard Lamb, M.D., USC Department of Psychiatry, 2020 Zonal Ave. IRD 715, Los Angeles, CA 90033; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. 107 0033-2720/04/0600-0107/0 C 2004 Human Sciences Press, Inc. 108 PSYCHIATRIC QUARTERLY liaison between treatment staff and the justice system; understanding the need for structure; having a focus on managing violence; and appreciating the cru- cial role of case management, appropriate living arrangements, and the role of family members. KEY WORDS: criminalization; mentally ill offenders; police & mental health; mentally disordered offender treatment. The greatly increased presence of severely mentally ill persons in the criminal justice system is an urgent problem. As a result, mental health professionals and society have become much more concerned about the number of persons with mental illness in jails and prisons, as well as the treatment provided to these persons, both in such facilities and after release. These issues are relatively recent ones. Reports of large numbers of mentally ill persons in American jails and prisons began appearing in the 1970s (13). This phenomenon had not been reported since the 19th century (4)....
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