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Mentally ill offenders are criminals mental illness. They with make up a significant proportion of those passing through the justice system.

Epidemiology of mental health problems amongst offendersEdit

Treatment of mentally ill offendersEdit

By jurisdictionEdit


File:Broadmoor Hospital - - 106921.jpg

The law of England and Wales recognises that, so far as possible, mentally ill defenders should not receive punitive sentences, however, they should receive treatment. The courts have a wide array of power available to them, in addition to the ordinary sentences which can be passed, there are special provisions aimed at treating mentally ill offenders in a suitable manner. The primary additional powers available to the courts are to:give the offender a community sentence, with a requirement that he or she attends for treatment; make a hospital order or to make a restriction order under s 41 of the Mental Health Act 1983.[1] The community sentences are provided in s 177 of The Criminal Justice Act 2003'.[2] specifically s(h) 'a mental health treatment requirement'. The details of such treatments can be found in Section 207 Mental health treatment requirement of the Criminal Justice Act 2003.[3]

A community order requiring treatment of offender will only be made if the court is satisfied that the mental condition is treatable, and that there is no need to make a hospital order. A hospital order will only be made if the condition suffered by the offender make it appropriate that the offender should stay in hospital for the treatment. However, there are some instance where the protection of the public is a key element in issuing a sentence. Under s 41 of the Mental Health Act 1983[1] offender who have severe mental health problems, who are considered a danger to the public, can be sent to a secure hospital such as Broadmoor Hospital. These issues can only be done through the Crown Court. The order can be if necessary for an indefinite period of time. If the offender has been issued with an indefinite sentence they can only be released with permission of the Home Secretary or following a hearing of the Mental Health Review Tribunal.[4]

See alsoEdit


  1. 1.0 1.1 Mental Health Act 1983 1983 c. 20 Part III Restriction orders Section 41. Mental Health Act 1983. accessed on 8 August 2011.
  2. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named The_Criminal_Justice_Act_2003_c._44_Part_12_Chapter_2_Section_177
  3. The Criminal Justice Act 2003 2003 c. 44 Part 12 Chapter 4 Requirements available in case of all offenders Section 207. The Criminal Justice Act 2003. accessed on 8 August 2011.
  4. Turner, Jacqueline Martin ; editor, Chris (2008). OCR Law for AS, 101, London: Hodder Arnold.

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