Get Back to the Asylum: The Future of Mental Health Law and PDF

By John Q. LaFond

ISBN-10: 0195055209

ISBN-13: 9780195055207

This present day, American psychological wellbeing and fitness legislations and coverage advertise the restoring of "law and order" locally instead of retaining civil liberties for the person. This compelling publication recounts how and why psychological health and wellbeing legislations is being reshaped to protect society instead of mentally ailing voters. The authors, either specialists within the box, convincingly display how quickly altering American values ignited very various visions of justice for the mentally unwell. They argue that in the "Liberal era"-- from 1960 to 1980-- americans staunchly supported civil liberties for all, quite for deprived electorate just like the mentally sick. additionally, legal legislation supplied plentiful possibilities for mentally ailing offenders to prevent felony punishment for his or her crimes, and restrictive civil dedication legislation made it tough to hospitalize the mentally disabled opposed to their will. through the "Neoconservative era"--from 1980 on-- despite the fact that, the general public demanded new legislation due to the upward thrust in crime and the expanding variety of homeless in groups. those alterations make it even more tricky for mentally in poor health offenders to flee legal blame and much more uncomplicated to place disturbed voters into hospitals opposed to their will. again to the Asylum properly describes how this abrupt shift in from maintaining person rights to retaining the neighborhood has had a big impression at the mentally sick. It examines those criminal adjustments of their broader social context and gives a provocative research of those legislations reforms. eventually, this well timed paintings forecasts the way forward for psychological future health legislations and coverage as the United States enters the twenty-first century.

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Sample text

Reformers were convinced that the causes of crime, although complex and not yet fully comprehended, would eventually be identified and understood. They were confident that scientists would locate the causes of crime in heredity, genetics, or the environment. Given the prestige of science and medicine during the Progressive Era, it is easy to see why the new discipline of psychiatry began to acquire status and power. 34 Despite the rhetoric and dominant ideology of Progressive Era reform, rehabilitation was not served in practice.

How much time could not be known in advance. Custody and care had to be open-ended, since release did not turn on what a person had done in the past, but on future recovery. This would depend on the individual, the illness diagnosed, and the efficacy of treatment. Since the state was acting to benefit the individual, the scope of the state's power and the processes of commitment and release need not be carefully defined and rigidly controlled as they were in the criminal justice system. The beauty of this open-ended approach was its seeming ability to serve MADNESS AND RESPONSIBILITY 29 different masters at the same time.

The philosophy of deinstitutionalization and the de jure preference for less restrictive methods of social control minimized the loss of liberty while reducing the counterproductive effects of confinement. This gave the appearance of freedom and justice for all but a few hard-core deviants. By the 1960s, there was deep concern about whether the mentally ill were being fairly treated under the law. New claims of successful treatment techniques and changing values regarding the poor and the disadvantaged led Americans to question their basic assumptions about free will and responsibility.

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Back to the Asylum: The Future of Mental Health Law and Policy in the United States by John Q. LaFond


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