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Mental Health Courts and Mental Illness

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You are part of a citizen's watchdog committee on the circuit court in your region of the state. Recently, the state has started a mental health court, in which defendants may voluntarily enter into a treatment program instead of being prosecuted and sentenced to a prison term.

Mr. John Snodgrass was recently arrested at a local park playground while attempting to look up the skirts of little girls about 5 or 6 years old playing on the park's monkey bars. His lawyer explained that Snodgrass has a heterosexual pedophilia disorder, but it only results in him looking at little girls—he has never touched one. The judge allowed Snodgrass to voluntarily enter a diversion program for the new mental health court.

Please help responding to the following questions.

What is the intent of the mental health court in general?
Did the judge make an appropriate decision in this case, and why?
What other alternatives would have been more appropriate for this defendant?

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To be clear for future assignments, it is best that you articulate exactly the concerns/questions you have pertaining to the assignment so that I can better assist you. For now, I will provide you with some helpful tips and attached document to help you in responding to the questions. To begin, you should have a good grasp on what the intentions of the mental court is. In other words, what is the purpose and and benefits of having a mental health court? Think about the scenario of Mr. Snodgrass and his recent ...

Solution Summary

This solution discusses protecting the well-being of society members and perpetrator through a Mental Health Court.

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Mental Illness Case: Preparing as an Expert

The majority of testimony delivered in courts by forensic psychology professionals is related to psychological evaluation data. Ultimately, any testimony that forensic psychology professionals give will be driven by the procedures they choose to employ from the beginning of the case, from the time the referral question is received and subpoena issued, to the testimony itself. To help prepare for testifying, it is necessary to understand the process of and guidelines for providing expert testimony. Planning and reviewing testimony in advance is important to testifying effectively and to coming across as reliable and believable.

• Select a case to research (past or present) where the mental health of the defendant was the issue at hand. The case may be one with which you are familiar, one from history or popular culture, or one you find by using the Walden library.

• Review the assigned chapters in your course text Coping With Cross-Examination and Other Pathways to Effective Testimony. Think about the steps you would take and considerations you would make when preparing to testify about the case you selected.

how you would prepare to testify for the case. Refer to the process of and guidelines for testifying as you explain the steps you would take, from the time you receive the subpoena through the time you are on the stand. Be specific as you use aspects from the case you selected to illustrate the process you would follow to offer expert testimony.

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