Investigate the legal constructs of insanity and the psychiatric constructs of intellectual disability and mental disorders. Evaluate the relationship between crime, dangerousness and mental disorders in the context of forensic mental health.
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After successfully completing this subject you should be able to:
Delineate the key issues surrounding definitions of mental disorder and criminal behaviour;
Describe the major models of mental disorder and models of criminal behaviour, and the relationship between the two;
Summarise the fundamental debates surrounding views of criminal behaviour and mental disorder, including free will versus determinism, nature versus nurture, and person versus situation;
Describe the main classification systems of mental disorder and identify the strengths and weaknesses of these systems;
Describe the relationship between mental disorder and concepts of dangerousness and the legal responses to dangerousness;
List the main categories of mental disorder and explain how these disorders may lead to criminal behaviour; and
Critically evaluate the relationship between various criminal behaviours and types of mental disorder, and in particular, the extent to which there is a special relationship between mental disorder and crime and its implications for practice.
This subject considers the history of thinking and practice with respect to forensic mental health, and the implications of this history for current forensic mental health practice. Particular attention is given to contemporary legal constructs of insanity and fitness to plead, and psychiatric constructs of intellectual disability, mental disorder, psychosis, psychopathy, personality disorder and paraphiliacs. An attempt is made to integrate criminological and psychiatric theories and evidence concerning problems in forensic mental health.
Assessment details will be advised at the beginning of the subject offering.