Discuss whether psychological theories of criminal behavior have implications on public policy as well as how these implications have been reflected in actual policy.
430 word essay with reference.© BrainMass Inc. brainmass.com December 24, 2021, 10:46 pm ad1c9bdddf
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Our judicial system as we know it has gone through numerous changes over the course of time. Lawyers have entered pleas of guilty, not guilty, no contest, and most controversial pleas of either guilty/not guilty by way of insanity. In saying this, the argument of whether a person is clinically insane and by what way they were diagnosed has long been scrutinized by members of the court system throughout the Nation. Below we'll discuss whether psychological theories of criminal behavior have implications on public policy. In addition we'll discuss how these implications have been reflected in actual policy.
Criminologists have tried to establish theories that link crime, society, and deviant behavior to psychological factors that cause a person to participate in criminal activities. Psychiatrists have used these theories as a foundation to evaluate mentally challenged criminals. In doing so, the judicial system has adopted pleas based on insanity. The U.S. Supreme Court first adopted the pleas of insanity in 1992 in the case of Foucha v. Louisiana (Schmalleger, 2009, p. 238). Psychological theories of criminal behavior have had an impact on public policies by way of protecting those who are clinically insane or have a mental disorder. More than half of public policies are driven by society and humane groups for the mentally challenged. Once a plea of insanity has been entered into the court records, psychological evaluations must be implemented in order to validate the mind state of the defendant. Each state has their own way of testing ones mental capacity. These test are established under three rules; M'Naughten, Durham, and Brawner Rule. Under each rule are test that are administered; irresistible-impulse, substantial-capacity, and guilty but mentally ill test. All of which establish how a person will be tried. Based on how the person is tried, public policy also establishes provisions in how a person will be confined based on their mental state. In many prisons throughout the U.S., there's a ward for the mentally challenged to serve their time and receive care. In 2002, the U.S. Supreme Court (6-3 decision) ruled it unconstitutional for states to carry out a death penalty for prisoners with mental retardation or clinically insane (Hausman, 2002).
In summary, we've discussed the implications of psychological theories on public policy. Psychological theories of criminologist have established a link between deviant behavior and those who are mentally challenged. As these theories continue to progress and build off of early psychoanalytic perspective of Sigmund Freud , public policies are constantly evolving to protect society from mentally challenged/clinically insane criminals as well them from cruel and unusual punishment.
Hausman, K. (2002). "Court Bars Execution of Mentally Retarded Criminals". Retrieved from http://pn.psychiatryonline.org/content/37/14/1.2.full on November 25, 2010.
Schmalleger, F., Ph. D., "Criminology Today, An Integrative Introduction". Fifth Edition. Ohio. Prentice Hall Publishing.© BrainMass Inc. brainmass.com December 24, 2021, 10:46 pm ad1c9bdddf>