Focused, comparative examination of legal institutions.
"Mental Health and the Law." This is a senior seminar that will focus on how the criminal justice system has become the de facto mental health care system in our country, and the problems associated with this trend. We will explore how those with mental illness are treated within the criminal justice system and also within the involuntary civil commitment system. We will look at societal responses to this trend such as the emergence of mental health courts and specialized police training. We will also dscuss how the courts, the legislature and the community shape this landscape. A critical theme of the course will be how these systems attempt to balance public safety and civil liberties. This course will have court observation requirements and will have guest speaker presentations on relevant topics.
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