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The deinstitutionalization of the mentally ill which started in the 1960s greatly contributed to the overcrowding of judicial systems throughout the world. In the ensuing years, the actors involved in the adversarial system present in United States courts, a system that is primarily interested in assessing the culpability of the offender, have come to realize that the system is lacking therapeutic and reintegrative approaches to offenders, especially those who are mentally ill. Therapeutic jurisprudence, an interdisciplinary science, addresses this problematic situation of the mentally ill. It offers a fresh insight into the potentially beneficial and detrimental effects of legal decisions and views one of the roles of law as that of a healing agent. At present, many states have instituted mental health courts based on these concepts, incorporating previous drug court experiences. Their goal is to avoid the criminalization of the mentally ill and their recidivism through the creation of special programs. This article describes the mental health court programs of Washoe County and Clark County, Nevada, their organization, their therapeutic goals, and their success in keeping mentally ill offenders out of the correctional system, while improving their mental condition. In so doing, the program has lightened the load of the overburdened courts and has greatly diminished the financial burden incurred for court trials and jail and prison stays.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: International journal of law and psychiatry
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Voluntary organizations which support educational programs and research in psychiatry with the objective of the promotion of mental health. An early association in the United States was founded as the National Committee for Mental Hygiene in 1909, became the Mental Health Association in 1976 and later the National Mental Health Association in 1980. State and local mental health associations in this country are chartered by the national organization and affiliated with it.
An agency of the PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE concerned with the overall planning, promoting, and administering of programs pertaining to substance abuse and mental health. It is commonly referred to by the acronym SAMHSA. On 1 October 1992, the United States Alcohol, Drug Abuse, and Mental Health Administration (ADAMHA) became SAMHSA.
A component of the NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH concerned with research, overall planning, promoting, and administering mental health programs and research. It was established in 1949.
Diagnostic, therapeutic and preventive mental health services provided for individuals in the community.
Organized services to provide mental health care.
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