Skip to 0 minutes and 0 seconds Project 39A at the National Law University, Delhi and Eleos Justice at Monash University, Australia bring to you an interactive course with experts from India, Australia and the UK on forensic mental health and criminal justice. I think we can all agree that prisons are the wrong place for many people in need of mental health treatment since the criminal justice system emphasizes deterrence and punishment rather than treatment and care. However, numerous studies across the world show that the prevalence of mental disorders in the criminal justice population is higher than in the general population. Machal Lalung was 23 years old when he was arrested, he was behind bars for 54 years, despite no specific charges being framed against him.
Skip to 0 minutes and 47 seconds In the United States, something like 50% of all state psychiatric hospital beds are taken up with accused people who are being restored to competence to stand trial after. Our 4-week course will deal with pertinent issues in the field of forensic mental health and criminal justice, such as- The essential principle being that no person should be tried for a crime unless they are in a position to defend themselves, and that includes being in a mental condition to defend themselves. What is the role of a forensic mental health expert?
Skip to 1 minute and 20 seconds My job is not to be the finder of fact and to determine whether or not something occurred, but my job is to determine what role, if any, mental disorder may have played in the offending. What is the defense of insanity and the role of the expert in its determination? While section 84 of the IPC replaces disease of the mind with unsoundness of mind, both the phrases have mostly been interpreted to mean mental illness or mental health concerns relevant to the death penalty. Why would I argue that these kind of experts are specifically needed in death penalty cases? Well, I would answer that question by posing another question Is it OK to sentence mentally disordered people to death?
Skip to 2 minutes and 2 seconds What are some of the challenges that a forensic psychiatrist raises? There are no validated tools for the assessment, and therefore no standard methodology used for reporting in the country. An initial barrier to the investigation of mental disorder has been undue suspicion about the offender’s motives. The offender might be malingering in order to be spared, but that fundamentally misunderstands the role of an expert To truly protect the right to a fair trial, mental health concerns must be addressed at every stage of the criminal justice process. The spectacle of a person being tried and severely punished for something they cannot understand or for actions for which they did not have the requisite guilty mind is unedifying, to say the least.
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