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The Chronic Mentally Ill and the Criminal Justice System: When to Call the Police
Leonard I. Stein; Ronald J. Diamond
Psychiatric Services 1985; doi:
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The University of Wisconsin Medical School in Madison

1985 American Psychiatric Association

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Abstract

Certain mentally ill patients who repetitively commit minor crimes as part of their lifestyle rather than because of psychotic thinking are best managed by a cooperative effort between the criminal justice and the mental health systems. This effort, which is based on the belief that such patients should be dealt with as any other responsible citizen who commits a crime, involves educating and supporting the patients, the patients' families, and criminal justice professionals throughout the entire judicial process. The involvement of the criminal justice system is not a substitute for treatment by the mental health system, nor should arrest or incarceration be used simply because mental health treatment is unavailable.

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