Mental Health, Law and Criminal Justice
- Describe the differences and the similarities between the concepts of competence to stand trial and not responsible by reason of mental disease or defect (insanity), including when each concept is introduced into the legal system in a given case.
- What is the purpose and function of the legal concept of competence to stand trial? Describe the current competency to stand trial standard and what areas must be assessed to determine if a defendant is competent to stand trial. How should a judge rule if a patient who has been found incompetent to stand trial refuses to take medication for his mental illness?
- Describe two different standards for insanity that are currently used in the United States, and discuss the requirements for each standard. Compare and contrast the two standards, including a discussion of the strengths and weaknesses of each standard and examples of the application of each standard. How might we be able to evaluate the impact of changing from one standard to another in a jurisdiction (e.g., if the state decides to change standards and we would like to measure the impact of the change)?