Belli, Kelsey


This paper assesses some of the critical issues relevant to the connection between the mental health and criminal justice systems. Throughout the entirety of this paper there will be a comparison between the Unites States, France, and the Netherlands. This article will examine the current statutes, case law, and public policies in place in the criminal justice and mental health systems. It will offer a comparison between the balance of needs of individuals suffering from mental health issues and the maintenance of public safety. The first section will look at the historical background of how individuals were found to be mentally incompetent and how the criminal justice system has treated these individuals in the past. The second section will present the laws and statutes pertaining to this topic and the extent to which individuals found to be mentally incompetent can be held criminally liable for their actions. A third section will focus on what the process is like for mentally incompetent offenders from pretrial to post-conviction. Finally, the last section will present an analysis of the policies in place and the changes that should be considered for reformation.



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