Should Mentally Ill People Get Punish or Receive Treatment if Committed Crime?
In today’s world, there has been an influx of people who have a mental disorder. According to Psychiatry, it states, “Mental illnesses are health conditions involving in thinking, emotion, or behavior (or a combination of these). Mental illness is treatable” (What is Mental Illness 1). Fortunately, mental disorders are not contagious, but it can be inherited throughout a family’s generation. Having a menta disease can be a struggle because it can cause the ones to commit criminal and violent acts. But, according to “Time to Change: Violence & Mental Health”, it states, “Over a third of the public think people with a mental health problem are likely to be victims, rather than perpetrators, of violent crime” (Time to Change: Violence & Mental Health 1). This is unfair to the mentally ill ones who are lacking the proper care they need in order to live peacefully every day. However, this topic has been brought up several times in the judicial courts, whereas many extreme criminal acts have been committed by those who have been diagnose with a mental disease such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. So, should people with a mental illness be accountable for their criminal and violent acts? Despite the idea of everyone should be treated fairly, mentally ill people are more prone to committing crimes; therefore, they should not get penalized, but should receive the proper medical treatment.
Over the years, there has been people who researches the connection between criminals and mental diseases. According to the article, “Mental Illness Not Usually Linked to Crime, Research Finds”, it states, “Researches analyzed 429 crimes committed by 143 offenders with three major types of mental illness and found that 3 percent of their crimes were directly related to symptoms of major depression, 4 percent to symptoms of schizophrenia disorders, and 10 percent to symptoms of bipolar disorder” (APA 1). Even though these are small percentages, this problem can be solved. Once again, these diseases can be inherited by their parents, and the disease can continue throughout the bloodline in a family’s generation. With that being stated, imprisoning mentally ill people is not the right solution. I believe the country needs to find a solution that will be the most effective world-wide. This issue is very important to address because the population of the world is increasing, which means more people will be diagnose with a mental illness.
With this in mind, more mental health facilities need to be built. Sadly, there are many people who have a mental disease, but not getting treated. According to “The State of Mental Health in America”, it states, “56% of American adults with a mental illness do not receive treatment” (The State of MHA 1). This brings the attention of people not receiving the proper medical care for their illnesses. Not only that, there are many states that do not have enough caregivers that can treat them. Under those circumstances, mentally ill people are walking the streets without any medication or care. Therefore, some might not be aware of their actions and lack the knowledge of consequences.
On the other hand, some may argue that even though mentally ill people commit a crime, they should get the same penalty as if they were normal. I know there has been many cases where mentally ill ones took innocent lives. For instance, an active shooter who took children’s lives is nowhere acceptable, and most people’s first suggestion of punishment is the death penalty. Although that person did an unforgiveable crime, the death penalty will not solve anything nor start a change in society. Some may believe that they receive a “pass” because they have a mental disorder, but that is not the case. The fact is that there will be more people with mental disorders and more criminal and violent acts if imprisoning mentally ill people continues. Luckily for these people, there is the Mentally Disordered Offender law. According to the “How Do You Hold Mentally Ill Offenders Accountable”, it declares, “Prison inmates who have committed serious crimes and have been diagnosed with a major mental illness can be forced to serve their parole in a state hospital. And each year that they’re in the hospital, they get a trial to determine whether they’re still mentally disordered (Jaffe 1). This law gives a chance to the mentally ill ones, instead of taking their lives away. Also, it is very important to check to see if they are healthy after their time period of special treatment is completely. According to the article “Mental patients in prisons: punishment versus treatment, it says, “The presence of mental patients in prisons does not only deprive them off their rights to proper treatment and care, but also leads to possible maltreatment and stigmatization”(Okasha 1).
In order words, prison is not the place for mentally ill people. They will not receive the proper treatment, and a prison’s environment will not help them. Instead, they need to be surrounded by great skillful psychiatrists and health care providers that will give them appropriate care and attention. This will help lower the percentage rate of mentally ill people who do not receive treatment and will have a brighter impact on society. All things considered, I choose treatment over prison. People with a mental disorder need the best care and treatment that they can receive. Hopefully in the future, there will be more effective medications that will be introduced. As a society, we should not judge a person with a mental illness because they are human too. Previously stated, it should be more mental health facilities available to keep them at a safer environment and preventing them from getting in any serious trouble. When it comes to the judicial court, many things need to be taken in consideration such as the mental disease and that person’s background. Everyone needs to take responsibility for their own actions, but there should be some exceptions when a mentally ill people are involved.