Mental health examination board for criminals

Over the last few years/decades i have noticed a trend that seems to allow mentally challenged individuals to be imprisoned and in some cases executed. now one might argue that since these individuals often commit violent crimes they need to be separated from the law abiding rest of the world, to which i would not disagree, that being said, there seems to be little if any effort to make a distinction between a violent criminal that has genuine underlying problems for the aforementioned behavior and one that is just 'evil' though i must confess i do not believe the latter type exists. These criminals as mentioned earlier are usually handed harsh sentences because of the nature of their crimes, and left to languish.

My idea is simple, i want to give these people a chance, a real chance at rehabilitation.

how would that be done?

well i would propose a panel be created consisting of psychotherapists, counsellors, psychiatrists, anthropologists, GP's, social workers even neuro-scientists.

when a person is convicted of a violent crime serious enough to warrant a custodial sentence, or a multitude of minor violent offenses such as spousal abuse (when i say minor i do not intend to diminish the impact they have on the victims)

a file is created and sent to this medical board who then can work together to asses, diagnose, and if needed treat the offender with appropriate medication or other behavioral modification techniques, in addition instead of a fixed sentence being handed to the offender it could be a 'no more than sentence' for example someone commits attempted murder might be given a sentence " no more than 15 years" but it would be up to the medical board which perhaps would review the person bi-annually or annually to decide weather or not the person would be able to reintegrate, kind of like a parole hearing but by medical professionals that have intimate knowledge of the offender.

all this would be in the hope of reintegrating the offender into society with a reduced chance of re-offending.

we have to try to give people that have done bad things, the chance to not repeat the behavior, a fair chance, throwing them in a cell for 25 years and then expecting them to adjust to a totally new world with no job prospects, no friends, family etc is a tall order and has rarely worked, its time for a new approach.

This would also save money in the long run as people could be ready for reintegration much sooner than the all to often handed out 25-to life sentence.

one problem with this idea that i have considered is that of the victims and victims family. i often think about this issue and one of the things that comes to mind is how would i feel, if a person murdered a member of my family that i was particularly close with, how would i feel about seeing them back on the street within a short period whilst my loved one is gone forever?

The answer is, not great, but if that once violent person went on to maybe become a counsellor, and helped someone else to control their violent impulses, then that person went on to do likewise and so on and so forth, perhaps it would be worth it?

any way just an idea i hope its not looked upon to harshly.

P.s sorry if this is in the wrong area, i couldnt decide weather this should go in health or law since it kind of pertains to both :)


1 Comment

  • I agree with this idea. It is a very intelligent and compassionate idea. There is a fine line between screwing up and not screwing up and we should all be as sensitive to the 'there but for..." reality. At least that is my opinion. Nicely said.

Similar Ideas: